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Hurricane Katrina

Hurricane Katrina

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Hurricane Katrina

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Presentation Transcript

  1. Hurricane Katrina

  2. Basic Facts Made landfall in Louisiana as a Category 3 storm with 127 mph winds Almost 2,000 confirmed deaths Majority of deaths occurred in New Orleans $100-150 billion in damages (2005 USD) Costliest hurricane in U.S. history Affected approximately 90,000 sq. miles of the United States

  3. The Damage • The storm surge breached 53 different levees around the city • 80% of the city was flooded with up to 20 feet of water • The older parts of the city, built next to more solid levees and not below sea level, were the few places not badly hit by flooding • • While 80-90% of New Orleans residents were able to evacuate the night before the storm hit, the rest who did not have access to transportation or did not wish to leave were stranded • Many were trapped on or in their homes without access to clean water for days or electricity for weeks • In the city, 70% of all occupied housing units suffered damage from the hurricane and flooding • Over one-fourth reported that their house sustained damages of $15,000 or more

  4. The Damage Before and After

  5. FEMA & Governmental Response • FEMA = Federal Emergency Management Agency • Lack of preparation for Hurricane Katrina • Especially in New Orleans • The mayor’s very late implementation of his evacuation plan and lack of food, water, security, or sanitary conditions • Levees were just in no way prepared enough for a storm the size of Katrina • Lack of quick, strong response to flooding worsened everything • FEMA’s lack of coordination with other federal relief agencies • A failure to respond to the huge food/water emergency of stranded residents and evacuees

  6. Department of Homeland Security’s inspector general wrote a report noting the widespread criticism over FEMA’s handling of Hurricane Katrina The criticism against FEMA is largely deserved

  7. NGO Response • Red Cross launched its largest relief effort in its 124-year history • 1st 2 weeks – 74,000 volunteers giving shelter to 160,000 evacuees • Raised about one billion dollars in cash and pledges • Feeding America • Over 33 million pounds of food specifically for Katrina relief • Salvation Army • 5.6 million meals served, 3.3 million people assisted, $400 million donated

  8. Disaster Leads to Displacement • In July 2012, the population of New Orleans had only returned to 76% of its April 2000 population (369,250 out of the original 484,674) • Although this was an increase from the loss of over 50% measured in the immediate aftermath • In the larger scope, over one million people in the Gulf Coast region were displaced • Up to 600,000 were still displaced a month later • However, this displacement was not universally felt by all groups of people • Specifically, income, race, and education level all were significant factors when looking at the people who were able to return to their home or hometowns • So, where did these people go? Other places, including…

  9. Focus on Lafayette • Lafayette, due to its more western and inland location, was for the most part spared from the path of the hurricane • However, in the city Lafayette, the issue became being able to accommodate the huge number of refugees (14,000 evacuees officially, 5,000 new permanent residents – 3.2% increase) • Hotels were at 99% occupancy for months • Residential sales increased by over 22% in 2005 • The city grew rapidly, putting a huge strain on the city’s transportation and housing infrastructures, education system • Although a lot of the evacuees have left by now, many have permanently relocated (8.25% increase in overall population of Lafayette Parish) • The Parish experienced 15 years of population growth within months • This still presents the issue of supplying these new permanent residents with permanent, affordable housing

  10. Lafayette’s Response • Short-term plans • Government consolidated construction of affordable single-family homes • Ensuring that current structures are up to stand furture storm damage • Using certain lots within the Parish for temporary, affordable housing developments • Long-term plans • Ensure drainage system is completed ASAP • Continue the emphasis and growth in affordable, permanent housing construction • Ensure that the infrastructure and emergency transportation structure are able to accommodate this larger number of people • Disaster plans • Establish a centralized, consolidated center that houses resources, agencies, and individuals for human services, non-profit agencies, and/or disaster staging • Establish for both daily assistance and disaster relief

  11. One of the stories in Lafayette!

  12. Why Couldn’t the Evacuees Return? • For many Katrina evacuees, especially in the city of New Orleans, their housing developments were completely demolished • However, these housing developments were not rebuilt as they previously existed • Developers wanted to prevent the recreation of the high rates of crime experienced in the low-income housing projects • The solution for developers was “mixed-income neighborhoods” • The developments were re-built with much nicer facilities, and only about 1/3 of the spots were open as public housing • The rest were sold off to families with higher incomes • In addition, a lack of initiative and drive on FEMA’s part led to temporary housing fixes becoming WAY more permanent than intended

  13. Mixed-Income Neighborhoods Pros Cons Greatly limits the amount of public housing offered Increased rent and utilities pricing in these neighborhoods even for public housing Does not recreate the sense of community felt by previous residents Poor and/or black residents were much less likely to return • Offering much nicer, newer housing to low-income families • More opportunities for low-income residents • Job training and counseling • Reduced the previous rate of crime in these areas

  14. Why a Home is Important

  15. Housing Development • What should housing developers be focused on? • Maximizing the amount of evacuees that can return? • Attempting to recreate the sense of community and culture which previously existed? • Attempt to create a safe, economically fruitful housing development? • Recreate the demographics of the community previously living there? • Focus on permanent housing style residences or more temporary renting residences? • Acting quickly or acting effectively? • These are all very big questions that we should attempt to find out what exactly Lafayette did/is attempting to do with their housing developments • “Challenging Service” – ABP’s motto