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Katrina's Impact

  • Hurricane Katrina's destruction stretched across 90,000 square miles.
  • Government officials estimate that 500,000 people may need mental-health assistance to deal with higher rates of anxiety, depression and hostility.
  • Hurricane Katrina is estimated to be responsible for $75 billion (2005 US dollars) in damages, making it the costliest hurricane in U.S. history.
  • 1.3 million acres of forest lands were destroyed. The total loss to the forestry industry due to Katrina is calculated to rise to about $5 billion.
  • 40 % of New Orleans homes are still without electric service today.
  • Nearly 1,800 deaths have been attributed to Katrina, 1,600 of which occurred in Louisiana.
  • Regions affected by Katrina and on-her-heels Hurricane Rita have seen a population drop of nearly 492,000 residents, according to Census estimates recently released.
  • As of May 1, 2006, less than 33% of public schools have reopened in Orleans, Plaquemines and St. Bernard Parishes. Only 66% of public schools have reopened in the New Orleans Metro area.
  • In the New Orleans metro area, more than half of the grocery stores, restaurants, convenience stores and other retail food establishments remain closed for business.
  • In the small Hancock County town of Bay St. Louis, nearly every business and home was heavily damaged or destroyed. Today, some salvageable homes are being repaired, but 70 percent of businesses remain closed.
  • A statewide Louisiana plan to evacuate pets during hurricanes is being worked out by state and local officials, who are required to map the procedures under a new law enacted to avoid the problems that erupted after Hurricane Katrina struck.
  • Gulf Coast residents whose homes were destroyed or damaged by flooding from Hurricane Katrina began learning during the last week in July whether they'll get up to $150,000 for rebuilding in a federal program that is sending more than $10 billion to Mississippi and Louisiana homeowners.
  • Last year, $4.25 billion was donated by individuals in response to hurricane Katrina. (An additional $1.54 billion was donated to Tsunami victims,and $0.04 billion to victims of the earthquake in Pakistan.)
  • During 2005, donations to human-services organizations rose by 28 percent, to $25.4-billion. The increase was largely fueled by efforts to aid disaster victims, but even when disaster-relief donations are not counted, contributions still rose by 11.3 percent.
  • 36 percent of all 2005 disaster relief donations went to human service organizations in response to the Gulf Coast hurricanes Katrina and Rita.
  • Less than 1 percent of disaster relief went to Environment (0.39), Education (0.14), and Health (0.12) related charities.
  • Over seventy countries pledged monetary donations or other assistance in response to hurricane Katrina. Kuwait made the largest single pledge, $500 million; other large donations were made by Qatar ($100 million), India, China (both $5 million), Pakistan ($1.5 million), and Bangladesh ($1 million).
  • In the aftermath of the Gulf Coast Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, 13 million Americans made donations to relief efforts online and seven million set up their own hurricane relief efforts using the internet.
  • Around $170 million in in-kind donations were given in response to hurricanes Katrina and Rita by individuals, corporations and foundations. The majority of these donations consisted of food, clothing, and medical supplies.
  • The majority of donations received for hurricane relief were spent on feeding and sheltering evacuees, and direct financial assistance, some of which continues to this day.
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