Ten years later: Obama visits New Orleans to remember ‘Katrina’

It has been 10 years since Hurricane Katrina wreaked havoc to Louisiana, Florida, and other areas in the southeastern part of the United States. Leaving millions of people homeless and without livelihoods, the hurricane had since been known as the costliest natural disaster in U.S. history. Now, President Obama asserts that the devastation caused by Katrina could have been avoided if not for government failure.

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In a visit to New Orleans—the state most hit hard by the disaster—last August 27, the president addressed a small crowd gathered to commemorate the 10th year since the hurricane first struck the area on August 29, 2005. According to a report by NPR’s Scott Neuman, Obama called Katrina a “man-made calamity,” saying that the devastating outcome it left in its wake is as much a result of structural economic inequalities as it was a result of the deadly forces of nature.

“New Orleans had long been plagued by structural inequality that left too many people, especially poor people, especially people of color, without good jobs or affordable health care or decent housing…Too many kids grew up surrounded by violent crime, cycling through substandard schools where few had a shot to break out of poverty,” NPR quotes the president as saying.

In the years since Hurricane Katrina struck the nation, the White House has made plenty of efforts to help affected areas recover from the disaster. Aside from New Orleans and other surrounding areas in Louisiana, Florida, Alabama, and Mississippi have all benefited from the billions spent in restoration efforts since Obama first took the presidency in 2009.

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