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For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
March 8, 2006

Fact Sheet: Gulf Coast Update: Hurricane Relief, Recovery, and Rebuilding Continues

Today, The President And Mrs. Bush Traveled To Louisiana And Mississippi To Assess Continuing Relief, Recovery, And Rebuilding Efforts - And To Reaffirm The Administration's Commitment To The Gulf Coast. The devastation of Hurricane Katrina has required an unprecedented response by Federal, State, and local governments, as well as the private sector. Relief, recovery, and reconstruction efforts are ongoing - and will continue until this vital region is up and running again. The President discussed Federal, State, and local efforts to clear debris, strengthen the Gulf Coast's hurricane defenses, and meet long-term housing needs for evacuees.

The Region's Reconstruction And Economic Recovery Are Top Priorities For The Administration. More than 16,000 Federal personnel have been deployed to help State and local officials along the Gulf Coast recover. Some $88 billion in Federal aid has been made available for relief, recovery, and rebuilding, with another $20 billion requested to support ongoing recovery efforts of the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), Small Business Administration (SBA), and other Federal government agencies.

Much Progress Has Been Made In The Six Months Since Hurricane Katrina Made Landfall. President Bush continues to deliver on the Federal commitment to do what it takes to help residents of the Gulf Coast rebuild their lives. Below are tangible results Federal agencies have accomplished in helping the region on the road to a complete recovery and providing an opportunity for a stronger and better future.

Clearing Debris So Rebuilding Can Proceed

Clean-Up And Other Essential Services

Strengthening The Gulf Coast's Hurricane Defenses

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is on track to restore 169 miles of damaged levees/floodwalls to authorized design levels by June 1, 2006 - before the start of the next hurricane season. The President is focusing on the safety and security of the citizens of the Gulf Coast and has committed to providing the resources necessary for them to return and rebuild. About fifty percent (169 of 350 miles) of the levees and floodwalls and 48 percent (34 of 71) of the pump stations were damaged by Hurricane Katrina. The Corps is working on the following levee improvements:

Rebuilding The Economy, Protecting Workers

Stimulating Business

Low Cost Loans For Businesses And Homeowners

Granting Businesses, Investors, And Other Taxpayers Relief

Developing The Workforce

Rebuilding Lives And Communities

Providing Immediate Recovery And Relief

  • Shelter and other immediate needs:

    Meeting Longer-Term Housing Needs

    Repairing And Strengthening Infrastructure

    Restoring Transportation

    The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT)'s funding of emergency repairs has restored basic transportation services

    Restoring Power, Gas, Oil, And Water

    Daily gas production in the Gulf of Mexico has been restored to 85 percent and daily oil production has been restored to 76 percent of pre-Katrina levels.

  • USDA is working to address long-term utility needs in the rural Gulf Coast by:

    Providing Social Services, Health Care, And Education

    Social Services

    Temporary Assistance For Needy Families (TANF)

    Health Care Delivery And Hospitals

    Child Development and School Readiness (Head Start)

    Progress has been made on the 1,100 schools (public and private) that were closed following the storms, which left 372,000 students initially unable to attend school.

    Higher Education
    Postsecondary institutions on the Gulf Coast are also recovering:

    Restoring The Gulf Coast Environment

    Reconstituting The Justice System And Prosecuting Fraud

    People Everywhere Have Made An Unprecedented Commitment To The Gulf Coast

    In his Address to the Nation from New Orleans' Jackson Square on September 15, 2005, the President called on all Americans to help those affected by Hurricane Katrina.

    Learning The Lessons Of Hurricane Katrina

    The Administration Released Its Review Of The Federal Response To Hurricane Katrina. The President's charge to evaluate the Federal government's response to the storm resulted in the report and recommendations released by the Administration, The Federal Response to Hurricane Katrina: Lessons Learned. The product of an extensive review, led by the President's Homeland Security Advisor Fran Townsend, the Report identifies deficiencies in the Federal government's response and lays the groundwork for transforming how the Nation - including every level of government, the private sector, communities, and individuals - pursues a real and lasting vision of emergency preparedness and response.

    The Lessons Learned Report Assesses The Federal Response, Identifies Lessons Learned, And Recommends Appropriate Corrective Actions. The Report identifies the systemic problems in Federal emergency preparedness and response revealed by Hurricane Katrina - and the best solutions to address them. The Lessons Learned report includes:

    Hurricane Katrina And Its Aftermath Provide Us With The Imperative To Design And Build A Unified System. The Lessons Learned Report confirms the imperative of integrating and synchronizing the Nation's homeland security policies, strategies, and plans across Federal, State, and local governments, as well as the private sector, non-governmental organizations, faith-based groups, communities, and individuals. To achieve this, the Report identifies three immediate priorities:

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