Mid-Life Ramblings; Sanity Optional

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

A Year Ago Today

The levees broke and life as we know it here in Louisiana and along the Mississippi Gulf Coast changed.

Here are the Louisiana Katrina stats to date:


Number of people who were evacuated because of Katrina: 1.3 million
People who changed addresses by Oct. 5: 900,000
Total economic loss: $50 billion to $70 billion
Initial jobs lost: 220,000
Jobs regained: 50,000

**The Dead**

Total number of deaths in Louisiana attributable to Katrina: 1,464
Number of citizens found alive: 10,746
Total number of citizens still missing: 135
Bodies autopsied as the state morgue at Carville and St. Gabriel: 892
Percentage of blacks identified at state morgue: 56 percent
Percentage of whites at the state morgue: 40 percent
Percentage of Hispanics at the state morgue: 2 percent


New Orleans population before Katrina: 455,000
Estimated New Orleans population as of July: 230,000
Statewide population loss: 266,000

**Insurance losses**

Insurance claims: 727,414
Insurance paid out as of June 30: $14 billion
Federal flood insurance paid out in Louisiana: $13.2 billion
Average federal flood insurance claim: $140,000

**Individual assistance**

FEMA grants to individuals: $5.1 billion
Number of Louisiana individuals receiving FEMA assistance: 1.6 million
Amount of state's share of FEMA's grants to individuals: $450 million
Number of families still living in FEMA-paid hotel rooms: 32
FEMA housing assistance grants: $3.6 billion
Disaster Food Stamp Benefits: $367.5 million
Disaster unemployment paid: $320 million
Louisianans receiving disaster unemployment: 173,000
Disaster unemployment paid: $320 million
Louisianans receiving unemployment benefits on Sept. 24: 252,072
Average weekly statewide employment claims prior to Katrina: 32,800
Average weekly statewide unemployment claims post-Katrina: 173,000
Total statewide non-farm employment, June 2005: 619,000
Total statewide non-farm employment, June 2006: 425,200
U.S. Small Business Administration loans to renters and homeowners: $5 billion
FEMA grants for crisis mental health counseling: $34.7 million


Total of homes affected: 204,500
Owner-occupied homes severely damaged: 63,500
Rental units severely damaged: 43,000
Housing units with severed damaged: 106,500
Number of homes with major flooding: 169,000
Number of homeowners who have applied for the Road Home rebuilding aid: 101,000
Number of FEMA trailers in Louisiana: 95,441
Number of occupied FEMA trailers in Louisiana as of Aug. 16: 81,245
Top three cities in Louisiana where evacuees went: Baton Rouge, Metairie, Lafayette.
Top three cities outside Louisiana where evacuees moved: Houston, Dallas, San Antonio
Number of evacuees who went to Texas: 90,388
Number of evacuees who went to Mississippi: 18,966
Number of evacuees who went to Georgia: 18,229
Number of evacuees who went to Arkansas: 6,309
The Road Home housing grant program: $9.3 billion
Percent of former customers in New Orleans with reconnected electricity: 60 percent
Percent of former customers in New Orleans with reconnected natural gas: 41 percent


Debris estimate: 22 million tons
Estimated remaining debris: 8.7 million tons
Number of times the debris could fill the Superdome: 13
Number of times the debris of the World Trade Center: 25
Units of refrigerators, dishwashers, washers and dryers discarded curbside: 1.5 million
Flooded and abandoned cars: 350,000
Damaged vessels: more than 60,000


Number of businesses impacted: 81,000
Number of businesses reopened: 62,000
U.S. Small Business Administration loans to 13,000 business owners: $1.3 million
State-administered grants to small businesses from federal funds: $350 million
Percentage of New Orleans-area restaurants that have reopened: 33 percent
Number of New Orleans' 38,000 hotel rooms that have reopened: 27,000
Damage to New Orleans International Airport: $30 million
Number of airlines serving New Orleans International: 11
Percentage of available airline seats on departing flights compared to pre-storm: 59 percent
Reduction in gross state product: $7.5 billion
Gross state product four quarters pre-Katrina: $138.2 billion
Gross state product four quarters post-Katrina: $130.8 billion

My prayer today is that we not only remember those in New Orleans that are still suffering from the devastation of Katrina but that we remember those that the media seems to have almost forgotten sometimes - the people of the Mississippi Gulf Coast, St. Bernard Parish, Plaquemines Parish, St. Tammany Parish, and all the victims of hurricane Rita which devastated the western end of Louisiana following so closely on Katrina's coat tails.

So often all we hear is about the city of New Orleans and yet so many more people outside that city are suffering just as deeply.

I love my state and for the past year my heart has been broken as I've seen what Mother Nature can do to her beauty. Yet I wouldn't trade living here for the world. Louisiana will recover because we are a people who know how to survive.

Thanks to each of you for keeping us all in your thoughts and prayers. Don't ever forget.


  • At 7:01 AM, Blogger thatfarmgirl said…

    Thank you for this post. We have not forgotten. All the best to you.

  • At 7:33 AM, Blogger Sam said…

    wow. Makes you think. Its all too easy for events like this to suddenly become history. Thanks for reminding us that this is still ongoing.

  • At 5:23 AM, Blogger Sue Woo said…

    Thanks for the post. I promise you, I will never forget.


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