Hurricane Katrina 5 Years Later - Special Report

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    Beaches have been cleaned of crude, the leak has been plugged and some cities never had oil wash ashore at all.  Still, tourists stay away from what they fear are oil-coated coastlines—a perception officials say could take years to overcome and cost the region billions of dollars.

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    The National Flood Insurance Program  is one big hurricane away from costing U.S. taxpayers billions of dollars. Experts say unless Congress makes some much needed changes to the program, taxpayers will find themselves footing the bill for another major disaster.

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    Carlene Pinto watched from her middle-school classroom in Brooklyn as the plane pierced the second tower; then she trudged the three miles home as paperwork and dust rained from the sky. Rebecca Rodriguez felt helpless as a teenager watching Hurricane Katrina unfold on television. And Lindsay Yates still shudders at the recollection of Hurricane Fran, which killed two dozen people in her native North Carolina when she was a second grader, the New York Times reports.

  • When Hurricane Katrina reached New Orleans on August 25, 2005, it crushed the levees and flooded more than 80 percent of the city. The damage reached well beyond the Big Easy, however, leaving in its wake $81 billion in property damages to the Gulf Coast. , there is still a massive amount of rebuilding and recovery to be done. Take a look at some striking images from the devasted area, then and now.

    Five years after Hurricane Katrina, there is still a massive amount of rebuilding and recovery to be done.

  • Then And Now: New Orleans Five Years After The Katrina Disaster

    The Katrina anniversary is all about contrasts. More than one resident has called it a tale of two cities and, as cliched as that phrase may be, it certainly applies here.  Unemployment is below the national average, but poverty is twice the national rate.

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    A major disaster sets the perfect stage for grandstanding. And nothing was more “major” at the time than Hurricane Katrina. Business and government leaders  laid out their dramatic plans to come to the rescue. 

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    Nearly five years after Katrina and the devastating failures of the levee system, New Orleans is well on its way to getting the protection system Congress ordered: a ring of 350 miles of linked levees, flood walls, gates and pumps that surrounds the city and should defend it against the kind of flooding that in any given year has a 1 percent chance of occurring.

  • Marine from Camp Lejeune, N.C., marks a home to indicate he found no occupants as houses in the lower Ninth Ward are checked for bodies or people who are still stranded more than two weeks after Hurricane Katrina hit.

    To really know if we have succeeded, to really know if we have created a New Orleans region better than before, we have to go out ten years. Here we will find the “new normal” that will come to pass after the Katrina money has run dry, and the economy is left to stand on its own.

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    After Hurricane Katrina, as the city lost billions of dollars in tourism business, the New Orleans Convention and Visitors Bureau embarked on a mission to overcome unprecedented brand impairment. Today, the tourism industry stands taller, stronger than before.

  • The MODIS instrument that flies aboard NASA's Aqua satellite captured this image of Tropical Storm Flossie on July 28 at 23:10 UTC (7:10 p.m. EDT) as it continued moving toward Hawaii (left).

    What are the all-time costliest hurricanes to hit the U.S.? Here are the Top 10.

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    Five years after Hurricane Katrina destroyed New Orleans, the city's mayor said its recovery—slowed by the Gulf oil spill—will take at least another five years.

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    It's a tall order to transform New Orleans by 2030, but that's the aim of the city's new master plan—five years after Hurricane Katrina hobbled this historic place and the surrounding Gulf coast region.

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    The BP Gulf of Mexico oil spill's economic fallout has added a cruel hurdle to the effort to relocate the Hurricane Katrina cottage dwellers, who live in the structures for free, paying utilities and rent only for the lots they live on—or paying no rent if they own the lots.

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    Michael Brown, the former administrator of the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the initial poster child for all that went wrong in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, is visiting New Orleans for the fifth anniversary of the event that made him said poster child.