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Katrina by the numbers


The most comprehensive study of the Gulf Coast after hurricanes Katrina and Rita last year is the 96-page report One Year After Katrina: The State of New Orleans and the Gulf Coast produced by the Institute for Southern Studies in Durham through its Reconstruction Watch project. More than 20 reporters, writers, activists and editors looked at issues including the diaspora of residents, housing, infrastructure, the economy, federal contracting, education, the environment and current hurricane readiness. Its conclusion, as stated in the report's introduction: "One year later, New Orleans and the Gulf region still face basic, fundamental barriers to renewal. Further, lack of federal leadership and misplaced priorities are preventing the region from achieving a vibrant future."

What follows are excerpts from the report's Katrina One-Year Index. To read the entire report, go to www.reconstructionwatch.org/images/One_Year_After.pdf.

  • Number of persons Hurricane Katrina displaced from Louisiana: between 645,000 and 1.1 million

  • Number of persons displaced from Mississippi: from 66,000 to several hundred thousand

  • Average distance traveled by evacuees from Chalmette, a largely white community in St. Bernard Parish: 193 miles

  • Average distance traveled by evacuees from the Lower Ninth Ward, a largely African-American community in New Orleans: 349 miles

  • Estimated percentage of New Orleans metro area's pre-storm population of about 460,000 that had returned as of June 30, 2006: 37

  • Percentage of Louisiana mortgages past due as of July 2006: 20

  • National average for percentage of past-due mortgages: 4

  • Number of storm-affected households approved for housing assistance: 946,597

  • Months after Katrina that federal money for housing was approved: 10

  • Total federal funds dispersed so far to rebuild homes: $0

  • Annual profits that Entergy Corp., whose subsidiaries provide electricity to most of the Gulf region, reported earning before Katrina: $909 million

  • Amount Entergy's New Orleans subsidiary requested in federal relief after declaring bankruptcy following the storm: $718 million

  • Rate increase proposed by Entergy New Orleans to fund repairs after its request for federal funding was denied: 25 percent

  • Occupancy rate of livable apartments in New Orleans: 99

  • Percentage of New Orleans small businesses destroyed by Katrina: 60

  • Out of 28,540 disaster loan applications submitted to Small Business Administration from the Gulf Coast, number processed by December 2005: 10

  • By May 2006, percentage of small businesses that had been approved for disaster loans from the Small Business Administration that had actually received them: 37

  • Minimum value of contracts federal agencies have awarded to private companies for work related to Katrina and Rita: $9.7 billion

  • Percentage of those contracts awarded with little or no competition: 80

  • Amount of the federal contract, the bulk of which was awarded to the Shaw Group, whose lobbyist is former FEMA director [and former Bush campaign head] Joseph Allbaugh, for tarping roofs--despite charging three times more than Alabama competitor Ystueta: $330 million

  • Amount that AshBritt, with help from the lobbying firm founded by Mississippi Gov. [and former Republican Party head] Haley Barbour, received from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for debris removal from Mississippi: $580 million

  • Minimum amount AshBritt has been sued for nonpayment by several Mississippi companies across the hurricane reconstruction zone: $9.5 million

  • Value of wages that contractors had not paid their workers but were eventually recovered by the Mississippi Immigrant Rights Alliance: more than $700,000

  • Number of New Orleans prisoners whose trials have never been set or have been delayed, or who have never seen an attorney: about 6,000

  • Average time people sat in a New Orleans jail before seeing an attorney: more than 1 year

  • Percentage of New Orleans schools damaged by Katrina: 83

  • Amount given to Louisiana by U.S. Dept. of Education for charter schools since Katrina: $44.8 million

  • Amount given for traditional public schools damaged by the storm: $0

  • Amount of oil spilled in Louisiana from damaged tanks and other production facilities during hurricanes Katrina and Rita: 10.5 million gallons

  • Amount spilled from 1989 Exxon Valdez disaster in Alaska: 11 million gallons

  • Portion of hazardous materials that authorities would be "lucky" to remove from the post-Katrina waste stream, according to an EPA official: 20 to 30 percent

  • Number of hospitals in Orleans Parish before hurricanes Katrina and Rita: 22

  • Number as of August 2006: 11

  • Approximate increase in New Orleans suicide rate since Katrina: 300 percent

  • Percentage of New Orleans cultural institutions that remain closed from storm damage: 75

  • Estimated number of working musicians in New Orleans pre-Katrina: 2,500

  • Estimated number of musicians in New Orleans post-Katrina: 250

  • Amount by which every mile of coastal wetlands reduces storm surge: 1 foot

  • Amount of coastal wetlands Louisiana loses each year: 35 square miles

  • Of the 30 U.N. Principles guiding the handling of "Internally Displaced People," number that legal scholars believe were violated in the case of Katrina: 16

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