This is depressing:
New Orleans will have to be abandoned for at least nine months, and many of its people will remain homeless for up to two years, the US government believes.
The bleak assessment will deepen the biggest crisis faced by President George Bush, who last week called the devastation of Hurricane Katrina a ” temporary disruption”.
As the relief effort finally got under way yesterday for the tens of thousands of people left without food, water, medicines or the rule of law for five days, the federal official in charge of disaster recovery told foreign diplomats that reconstruction cannot begin until next summer.
The President is now facing a political hurricane of his own, with gathering criticism, even from inside his own party, for failing to heed warnings of the city’s vulnerability, cutting spending on its defences to pay for the wars on terror and in Iraq, and responding sluggishly to the worst natural catastrophe ever to hit his country.
Ray Nagin, the Mayor of New Orleans, said that every day of delay has caused hundreds of deaths. Louisiana’s junior Senator, Republican David Vitter, gave the Bush administration “an F grade” for its handling of the crisis. Senator Chuck Hagel, a leading contender for his party’s nomination to succeed Mr Bush, said, “There must be some accountability.”
Nine months. Two years.
Why were these levee’s not built to protect against Cat 5 storms? Will they be in the future?