Geology Paper on Katrina 11 Years Later Report
Hurricane Katrina destroyed New Orleans city, as the storm caused an extensive flooding all over the city and its environs. The storm, which struck the city in 2005, was termed as the most costly natural catastrophe that has ever occurred in the U.S. history. The disaster affected the economy of New Orleans, as businesses were destroyed and many people were left with no means of earning income. Returning to the normalcy after a decade has not been a smooth ride for New Orleans residents, as the nation has strived to handle other disasters that seemed more sensitive than Katrina. This report, which is directed to the Governor of Louisiana, will focus on the impact of Katrina after 11 years, and the steps taken by New Orleans to return to normalcy.
Impact of Katrina on Economy
Hurricane Katrina ravaged the New Orleans economy by stalling port operations, tourism, as well as education services. The cost of damage was estimated to be about $200 billion, which classified Katrina as among the most costly disasters ever to hit the U.S. (Dolfman, Wasser, and Bergman 3). The disaster destroyed more than 182,000 homes, in addition to making roads connection across the seven-parish metro area almost impossible (Liu and Plyer 2).
The storm affected the distribution of oil and gas, as well as the export of products, such as cotton, hence, causing a major effect on prices. Oil and gas extraction was among the highest ranked sectors in the city before the storm struck it. The pipelines that transported petroleum from the shores were disrupted, as there was no power to pump petroleum. Some of the offshore oil platform sunk into the ocean while others were recovered later.
Hurricane Katrina’s disaster led to loss of jobs due to destruction of buildings and resources that residents relied on for their upkeep. The unemployment rate in Louisiana grew from 5% to 12.1% immediately after the storm (Shear 65). The disaster made the situation worse, as the region was categorized as among the poorest in terms of unemployment, even before the storm. In the Gulf Coast, the storm led to the loss of thousands of jobs, although the recovery efforts have aided in the creation of more jobs.
New Orleans tourism has remained as one of the economic anchors, but the floods destroyed most of the buildings that offered hospitality, thus leading to loss of jobs and property. The number of visitors dropped from 10 million in 2004 to 3.7 million in 2006 owing to the destruction of hotels and restaurants to host them (Eaton and McWhirter n.p). The drop in the figure of tourists implies loss of jobs, as well as the revenue for the state.
New Orleans Years Later
It is now eleven years since Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans and its neighborhoods. Despite encountering three shocks during the last five years, New Orleans is beginning to portray signs of recovery, and probably doing better than it has been before Katrina disaster. According to the Wall Street Journal, the storm compelled almost a half of the metropolitan area’s residents to vacate to other areas, but after a decade, the population has risen again to 1.25 million people (Eaton and McWhirter n.p). National attention concerning the massive oil spill around the Gulf of Mexico eclipsed the more ordinary, but vital task of rebuilding New Orleans while the Great Recession was a blow to the city’s economy.
City planners have strived to offer technical assistance, in addition to facilitating access to capital for small business owners, who are still recovering from the disaster. Small business sector has played a significant role in the recovery of New Orleans, as it has managed to supply 40% of the jobs to the residents of New Orleans (Shear 65). The sector is offering entrepreneurial opportunities for the residents, although the sector is in need of assistance after being destroyed by Katrina. The city has recorded a rise in entrepreneurship, where individuals willing to start businesses have increased, despite the recession period that affected many businesses, leading to loss of jobs. The rise in private-sector jobs resulted from the loss of government jobs, as all sectors of the government experienced a decline in employment.
New Orleans has experienced an inclusive growth that is accompanied by the changing demographics. The city is recording lower rates of poverty since 1979, in addition to a rise in median household income to $47,585 in 2008 (Liu and Plyer 5). Restaurants and hotels are leading in economic recovery in several neighborhoods after Katrina. Investors are working hard to ensure that tourism does not sink further by establishing new facilities with the latest technology and services. Folks who were displaced by Katrina are returning to the city, and are seeking hotel services before they settle down in their own residents.
Although there is still more work that need to be done, the numbers are showing that the city is almost at the same level as it was before Katrina. Some sectors, such as shipbuilding and manufacturing, are yet to recover, and people who used to work there need earn income (Eaton, and McWhirter n.p). Some of the area’s infrastructures are still in bad shape while some residents are yet to settle back to their homes. However, the number of rooms in restaurants is back to normal as more restaurants are built to accommodate tourists, as well as residents who are yet to settle in their properties.
Dolfman, Michael L., Solidelle Fortier Wasser, and Bruce Bergman. “The effects of Hurricane Katrina on the New Orleans economy.” Monthly labor Review (2007). Web. 20 Oct. 2016. http://www.bls.gov/opub/mlr/2007/06/art1full.pdf
Eaton, Leslie, and Cameron McWhirter. “New Orleans’s Uneven Revival in Decade After Katrina.” The Wall Street Journal, Aug. 26, 2015. Web. 20 Oct. 2016. http://www.wsj.com/articles/the-new-orleans-economy-ten-years-after-katrina-1440628953
Liu, Amy, and Allison Plyer. “An overview of Greater New Orleans: From Recovery to Transformation.” Brookings Metropolitan Policy Program & Greater New Orleans Community Data Center. The New Orleans Index at Five (2010). Web. 20 October 2016 https://www.brookings.edu/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/08neworleansindex.pdf
Shear, William B. Hurricanes Katrina and Rita: Federally Funded Programs Have Helped to Adress the needs of Gulf Coast Small businesses, but Agency Data on Subcontracting are Incomplete. Washington, DC: GAO, 2010. Print.