Standing in Jackson Square on Sept. 15, President Bush stated, “This government will learn the lessons of Hurricane Katrina” and promised to “get the work done quickly.” But on the eve of Katrina’s one year anniversary, here’s a look at the current state of New Orleans:
— Less than half of the city’s pre-storm population of 460,000 has returned, putting the population at roughly what it was in 1880.
— Nearly a third of the trash has yet to be picked up.
— Sixty percent of homes still lack electricity.
— Seventeen percent of the buses are operational.
— Half of the physicians have left, and there is a shortage of 1,000 nurses.
— Six of the nine hospitals remain closed.
— Sixty-six percent of public schools have reopened.
— A 300 percent increase in the suicide rate.
Eighty-four percent of New Orleans residents rate the government’s recovery efforts negatively, while 66 percent believe the recovery money has been “mostly wasted.”