Just a few statistics a year after the deluge..courtesy of a NYT article.
About 60 percent of former customers have electricity. Just over 40 percent have gas. Seventeen percent of the buses are running. Half the hospitals are closed. So are 77 percent of the child-care centers.
In metro New Orleans, 160,000 homes were damaged or destroyed. Katrina left the city itself with 12 million tons of debris. That is about seven times the amount produced when the World Trade Center collapsed. Before the storm, New Orleans had about 450,000 residents. Postal data released this month found 171,000 had returned. That is 38 percent.
New Orleans had 128,000 children before the storm. No one knows how many have now returned, but just 18 percent of public-school students were back by the end of the school year. With families still trickling home, a midrange estimate has the schools reopening with 38 percent of their old seats filled. Extrapolating to the child population as whole, that would mean more than 80,000 children are still gone.
President Bush will surely be making some statements about The Gulf Coast this coming week. I just hope he doesn't do his usual spin job..I hope the sumbitch fesses up to what a mess FEMA is, and how little has been done to rebuild the region. But I am not making book on that.
Mayor Nagin still has no concrete plan to rebuild the residential areas. The city planning commission is now on its third attempt to placate everyone and build a safer, higher city. People that are living in trailers with the funds and ability to rebuild are afraid to start the rebuilding process and find themselves on the wrong side of a construction law if and when Nagin's nimrods finally finish a plan.
In other words, its still a fucked up mess..a year later. Tuesday will mark the anniversary of the levees breaching. Bells will toll across NOLA marking this most henious anniversary. I can't wait for the spin doctors...should be interesting to say the least.