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Katrina: One Year Later (WLOX-TV)Katrina: One Year Later
WLOX-TV (Biloxi/Gulfport, Miss.)—Mississippians along the battered Gulf Coast marked the first anniversary Hurricane Katrina on Tuesday by mourning the dead, thanking legions of volunteers and celebrating what progress has been made on the long road to recovery. Across the 70-mile coast, workers and families gathered for tearful remembrances. But there was also celebration. [go to site]


One Year After "the Storm"
By Nathan Chidester | the TrainPixs Network
Tue Aug 29, 2:00 PM CT

Church bells are tolling, citizens and its city officials are meeting at what was once their community centers, meeting places and city parks, are observing the one year anniversary of Hurricane Katrina hitting the Gulf Coast.

It was at this time, 365 days ago, that life changed in so many ways. What was once gems of the Coast were turned into piles of debris. Beautiful homes overlooking the waters were gutted and are now either caves or empty weed-infested yards. Our homes filled with so many memories are now gone, only little mementoes are what we were only able to find in the muddy remains of our homes and our way of life.

We look back at all the destruction, the grief, and the challenges, but we must also look at its rewards. We have proven to ourselves, the nation, and the world, that we can pull ourselves out of the rubble, dust ourselves off and get back to our way of life, the life of the Mississippi Gulf Coast.

This storm did not discriminate, it affected the rich, the poor; black, white; citizen, foreigner. It has affected everyone, the old, the young and everyone in between. It has taken away so, so much but it has, also, given a lot back.

We have shown the world, that we can pick up the pieces, rebuild what was once the "other Las Vegas," rebuild what was once our homes that we grew up in — though the physical objects might be gone forever, our memories, then and now, are continuing on.

We will tell our children about what we have gone through, just like our parents, friends, and many others told us about Camille. We must keep this spirit alive, the spirit of never giving up, the spirit of getting the job done, and the southern way-of-life — helping one another.


Katrina Rebuilding "Long Way Off"
By Caren Bohan | Tue Aug 29, 1:24 AM ET

GULFPORT, Mississippi (Reuters) — One year after Hurricane Katrina battered the U.S. Gulf Coast and his political standing, President George W. Bush acknowledged on Monday that a complete recovery was still a long way off.

"There is hope down here, there is still a lot of work to be done," Bush said. "This is an anniversary but it doesn't mean it's an end. Frankly it's just the beginning of what is going to be a long recovery."

The August 29 anniversary of Katrina, which killed about 1,500 people and devastated New Orleans, holds perils for Bush as it rekindles memories of government missteps in the initial response to one of the worst U.S. natural disasters.

As the midterm election approaches in November, Bush's approval ratings are near 40 percent, never having fully recovered from the damage they suffered in Katrina's aftermath.

Listing progress on the Gulf Coast, Bush said Mississippi beaches, once littered with debris, were now "pristine" and school districts across the area had reopened, though many had to hold classes in trailers.

Stopping at a shipbuilding company where employees wiped gray boats with cloths, Bush told reporters that the company, United States Marine Inc., was hiring and noted there was a worker shortage, but housing also was scarce.

Pressed for a time frame for the rebuilding, Bush said: "Well it's hard for me to say. I would say years, not months."

Bush flew later to New Orleans, where his motorcade passed neighborhoods with some newly built homes and others with tattered roofs. He rode past the Convention Center, where many flood victims fled only to become stranded in stifling heat.

A sign on the Superdome said, "Reopening 9-25-2006, Go Saints," and a sign on a pole said, "We tear down houses," with a phone number on it.


Bush was to dine with New Orleans officials, including Mayor Ray Nagin, who said he wanted to see a faster flow of resources to the local level.

The horrors experienced at the Superdome and elsewhere in New Orleans stoked concern about racial and economic divisions because blacks and the poor bore the brunt of the suffering.

Asked if he believed race was a factor in the slow federal response to Katrina, Nagin said: "If it would have been a bunch of rich people in New Orleans, I think there would have been a different response. I really do."

Bush rejected the idea that race influenced the response.

"Whoever says that is trying to politicize a very difficult situation," Bush told American Urban Radio Network in an interview. But he acknowledged the hurricane had exposed a racial divide in the United States and said he hoped the rebuilding could heal it.

Democrats, vying to win control of at least one chamber of Congress in the November midterm election, are intent on reminding voters of flaws in the Bush administration's relief effort and of dissatisfaction that continues in the region.

House of Representatives Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi of California said the storm exposed a "tragedy" of mismanagement and that the government was not fulfilling its pledges.

"Hundreds of thousands of our fellow citizens still await the help in rebuilding their hospitals, schools, businesses, and homes that was promised last fall," Pelosi said.

In Mississippi, Bush said that a "large check" in the form of $110 billion in federal funds dedicated to the Gulf Coast was proof of the government's commitment.

Mississippi Sen. Trent Lott (news, bio, voting record) said there was progress in the rebuilding but frustrations remained with the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the flood insurance program.

"But we're going to be working on this recovery for years, literally," Lott said. "I view this not as an anniversary, not as a celebration, but as a memorial, a moment to remember what we have been through -- the good, the bad and the ugly -- and to recommit ourselves to going forward."

(Additional reporting by Tabassum Zakaria)




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Last Updated: 01-Jan-2010

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