print-only banner
The White House Skip Main Navigation
In Focus
News by Date
Federal Facts
West Wing

 Home > News & Policies > August 2006

For Immediate Release
August 24, 2006

Fact Sheet: The One Year Anniversary of Hurricane Katrina

     Fact sheet In Focus: Hurricane Katrina

President Bush Is Fulfilling His Long-Term Commitment To Helping The People Of The Gulf Coast Recover From Unprecedented Devastation. One year after Hurricane Katrina, the Gulf Coast is rebuilding and the Nation is better prepared for future natural disasters. Commerce is returning to the region, and as rebuilding plans are firmed up, growth and progress will follow, and New Orleans will once again be a vibrant American city.

Hurricane Katrina Was The Most Destructive Natural Disaster In U.S. History, And Rebuilding Will Take Time - The One-Year Anniversary Is Not A Finish Line. Challenges still remain, including crime and housing needs.

We Have Learned From Last Year's Inadequate Response And Today Are Better Prepared For Future Disasters.

The Federal Government Has Provided More Than $110 Billion In Resources - $118 Billion Including Tax Relief - To The Gulf Region. This funding is helping fulfill vital needs, including relocation, rental assistance, infrastructure repair, flood insurance payments, education, and debris removal.

  • Over $77 Billion Of The $110 Billion (70 Percent) Either Has Been Dispensed Or Is Available For States To Draw From. We are working with State and local leaders to help them rebuild the region, and the remainder of the funding will become available as States roll out their housing plans to the public. The Federal government plans to obligate every dollar - the funds are there and ready to be used.

The Administration Has Demonstrated Its Commitment To The Gulf Coast:

  • President Bush has visited the Gulf Coast 12 times since September 2005 and will make a 13th visit to commemorate the anniversary.
  • Mrs. Bush has visited the Gulf Coast 13 times since September 2005 and will travel there along with President Bush to commemorate the anniversary, making her 14th visit.
  • Cabinet officials have visited the Gulf Coast 82 times since September 2005.

Fulfilling The Federal Government's Obligations To The People Of The Gulf Coast

Federal Gulf Coast Rebuilding Coordinator Don Powell Is Continuing To Work With Governors Kathleen Blanco And Haley Barbour And Mayor Ray Nagin To Provide Resources To The People Who Need Them Most. For example, Federal officials worked with State and local leaders to designate certain properties as health and safety hazards to enable the Federal government to fund debris removal from private property.

Providing The Necessary Funding For The Gulf Coast

The Federal Government Has Committed More Than $110 Billion To Rebuilding The Gulf Coast, Including:

  • FEMA Has Funded $5.6 Billion To Repair And Replace Damaged Public Infrastructure Such As Roads And Bridges, Schools, Water Systems, Public Buildings, And Public Utilities, As Well As To Fund Emergency Protective Measures And Debris Removal.
  • States Have Been Awarded Nearly $17 Billion In Flexible Federal Grants As Part Of The Largest Housing Recovery Program In U.S. History. $16.7 billion in Federal funds have been allocated under the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development's (HUD) Community Development Block Grants (CDBG) program to help rebuild damaged housing and other infrastructure. The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) has closed 98 percent of claims made by policyholders affected by Hurricane Katrina.
  • The U.S. Department Of Education Is Releasing Almost $2 Billion To Help Reopen Schools And Educate Students. This funding will continue a recovery process that has aided over 150,000 students. All major higher education institutions in the region have reopened.
  • The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) Has Approved More Than $10.4 Billion In Disaster Loans To Homeowners, Renters, And Business Owners In The Gulf Coast States Affected By The Hurricanes. SBA has completed damage assessments on 99 percent of applications submitted, and it has rendered decisions on more than 99 percent of the loan applications for businesses, homeowners, and renters. More than 22,000 loans totaling $2.4 billion have gone to small business owners.

    • In Louisiana: 92,650 disaster loans were approved for $6.5 billion; 79,363 home loans were approved for more than $5 billion; and 13,287 business disaster loans were approved for more than $1.4 billion.
    • In Mississippi: 35,292 disaster loans were approved for $2.5 billion; and 30,743 home loans were approved.
  • The President Signed Legislation Creating A Gulf Opportunity Zone (GO Zone) To Spur Economic Development, With Tax Relief For Businesses And Entrepreneurs In Louisiana, Mississippi, And Alabama.
  • The U.S. Department Of Justice (DOJ) Has Made More Than $20 Million Available To The City Of New Orleans And Orleans Parish To Help Rebuild The Criminal Justice System There. In addition, Attorney General Gonzales recently announced additional Federal resources to help fight violent crime in New Orleans, including ten attorneys who will be temporarily assigned to the region to assist in prosecuting firearms, drug, and immigration cases and an additional nine Federal prosecutors who will be hired to assist with fraud and violent crime cases.

Restoring And Improving New Orleans' Levees

The Administration Has Secured Nearly $6 Billion For The Army Corps Of Engineers (Corps) To Repair And Enhance The Levees, Make The Entire Hurricane Protection System Better And Stronger By 2010, And Begin To Restore The Wetlands Surrounding The Greater New Orleans Area.

Almost The Entire New Orleans Hurricane Protection System Is In Equal Or Better Condition Than Before Hurricane Katrina. The Corps has repaired and restored more than 220 miles of floodwalls and levees since September 2005. Pumping stations are being flood proofed, and levees and floodwalls are being armored at selective sites to protect against erosion. Floodgates have been added at the outfall canals to protect against storm surge, and the Administration has secured $20 million dollars to jumpstart the restoration of the wetlands surrounding the greater New Orleans area.

  • The Corps Continues To Construct Stronger Protection For New Orleans By Engineering, Constructing, And Improving Storm And Flood Protection Infrastructure To A 100-Year Protection Level. This work includes higher levees, stronger floodwalls, and greater interior drainage capacity. Work is underway to restore undamaged floodwalls and levees to originally authorized heights by September 2007.

Removing Debris

Since Hurricane Katrina, 103 Million Cubic Yards Of Debris Out Of 122 Million Total Have Been Removed In Alabama, Mississippi, Texas, And Louisiana. All debris has been removed in Alabama and Texas, 96 percent of debris has been removed in Mississippi, and 72 percent of debris has been removed in Louisiana.

Restoring The Gulf Coast's Transportation And Energy Systems

All Ports Are Open Without Restrictions And All Navigational Aids Have Been Repaired Or Replaced With Permanent Or Temporary Markers.

All Crude And Petroleum Product Pipelines And Nearly All Petroleum Refineries That Were Affected By Hurricane Katrina Are Back To Normal Operations. In Louisiana and Mississippi, electricity has been restored to all customers who can safely receive it.

Combating Post-Katrina Waste, Fraud, And Abuse

There Are Multiple Layers Of Oversight And Accountability In Place To Ensure The Most Responsible Spending Of Taxpayer Dollars, Including State And Local Controls Against Wasteful And Fraudulent Activities.

  • The Federal Government Has Increased Resources For Inspectors General Who Will Be Working To Prevent Waste, Fraud, And Abuse By Conducting Numerous Audits Of Relevant Departments And Agencies And Their Respective Programs. This includes:

    • $12.1 million to support FEMA's efforts to reduce waste, fraud, and abuse with additional oversight of recovery contracts and procurements.
    • $5 million to the Small Business Administration's and $9 million to HUD's Inspectors General for fraud prevention.
  • In The Year Since It Was Created, DOJ's Hurricane Katrina Fraud Task Force Has Charged 381 Defendants In 30 Separate Judicial Districts Around The Country.

Ensuring The Nation Is Prepared For Future Disasters

Federal Disaster Response Capability Has Greatly Advanced. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is dramatically increasing the Nation's stockpiles of relief supplies, retooling FEMA, updating disaster plans, supporting State and local partners, and emphasizing individual and community preparedness.

DHS Has Four Times The Emergency Meals And Ice, And 2.5 Times The Water Available This Year Than Were Available Prior To Hurricane Katrina. These supplies have the capacity to sustain 1 million people for one week.



% Increase

Service Capacity


180 truckloads

770 truckloads


1 truckload serves 10,000 people/day


600 truckloads

1,500 truckloads


1 truckload serves 5,000 people/day


430 truckloads

2,000+ truckloads


1 truckload serves 5,000 people/day

Disaster Assistance Employees

Approximately 4,000 employees

Approximately 8,000 employees



The National Weather Service And The National Oceanic And Atmospheric Administration Continue To Strengthen Weather Forecasting And Warning Capabilities.

On February 23, 2006, The Administration Released Its "Lessons Learned" Review Of The Federal Response To Hurricane Katrina. The Report identifies deficiencies in the Federal government's response and lays the groundwork for better preparation for and response to future natural disasters.

Charitable Contributions Demonstrate The Resiliency Of The American Spirit

The Nation's Armies Of Compassion Have Contributed More Resources After This Natural Disaster Than After Any Other In America's History - Over $3.5 Billion In Cash And In-Kind Contributions. In addition to these private efforts, the Federal government's national service arms have contributed significantly. The Peace Corps sent 272 volunteers to assist FEMA, and the Corporation for National and Community Service has supported more than 35,000 national service members who have contributed more than 1.6 million hours and leveraged an additional 92,000 volunteers.

  • During The Hurricane Katrina Response And Recovery, More Than 100,000 Volunteered Through The Citizen Corps Network, A DHS-Administrated Initiative Of USA Freedom Corps. USA Freedom Corps created a nationwide clearinghouse allowing interested volunteers to connect with opportunities in the Gulf Coast. In the year since Hurricane Katrina, there have been more than 4 million volunteer opportunities listed on the site - with approximately 34,000 opportunities in Louisiana, 26,000 in Mississippi, and over 36,000 in Alabama.

# # #