Gray Panthers of San Francisco
May, 2006 Newsletter

Six Months After Katrina (Part 2)


This is Installment Two of our condensed version of Bill Quigley’s February article for Common Dreams. Read Part I

Who Was Left Behind?

Many of the same people left behind in the evacuation are being left behind again in the reconstruction of New Orleans. Drive through the city, and you will see tens of thousands of still damaged and unoccupied homes. There were 460,000 fewer people in metropolitan New Orleans in January 2006 than in August 2005. FEMA received applications from 18,700 zip codes in all 50 states—evacuees are scattered throughout the country.

Ultimately as many as 40,000 people took refuge in the Superdome. Another 20-30,000 people were dropped off at the Convention Center. Some people never made it out of metropolitan New Orleans. February 2006 Health Department reports show 1,103 bodies were recovered and over 2,000 people are still reported missing.

Most of the city was still without power in early 2006. About two-thirds of the homes had no electricity; even fewer had gas. The cost of renting has skyrocketed. All public housing has been closed. Yet over 10,000 trailers were still sitting unused on runways in February. Renters, poor people and those without work are overwhelmingly African-American. New Orleans is at risk of losing 80% of its black population. (Continued next month.)

(back to May 2006 Newsletter front page)