July 14, 2015

The Strength of the Human Spirit Was the Greatest Winner from Hurricane Katrina

Virgil Storr

Vice President, Academic & Student Programs

Laura Grube

Assistant Professor of Economics, Beloit College
Summary

It might be easy to forget when looking at New Orleans today how devastated the city was when Hurricane Katrina struck in August 2005. More than 1,800 people died as a result of Katrina and the subsequent flooding. As much as 80 percent of the city flooded, including over 134,000 occupied housing units (70 percent of all occupied housing units were damaged). Total damages were estimated at over $100 billion.

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It might be easy to forget when looking at New Orleans today how devastated the city was when Hurricane Katrina struck in August 2005. More than 1,800 people died as a result of Katrina and the subsequent flooding. As much as 80 percent of the city flooded, including over 134,000 occupied housing units (70 percent of all occupied housing units were damaged). Total damages were estimated at over $100 billion.

And yet, out of the sorrow and devastation, individuals and communities came together to rebuild. Remembering and revisiting the stories of how residents tried to come back could be not only a source of hope, but the stories could also be instructive to communities that recently suffered — or could one day suffer — from such a disaster.

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