Still Cleaning Up After Katrina

Still doing a heckuva job for Katrina victims

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205,000 houses were severely damaged by last year’s Gulf Coast hurricanes. As of May, 60% remained unoccupied.

Displaced families have moved an average of 3.5 times since the storms.

In March, the New York Times found that more than 1 in 10 New Orleans evacuees were homeless or had no permanent place to live.

Fewer than 35% of New Orleans’ 462,000 residents had returned to the city as of March. Only half are expected to return by September 2008.

State Farm and Allstate will no longer sell homeowners insurance in New Orleans.

Eight months after Katrina, fewer than 1 in 10 New Orleans businesses had reopened.

The Small Business Administration has rejected nearly 70% of the 2.4 million loan applications received from hurricane victims.

36 countries and international organizations donated $126 million to federal rebuilding efforts, half of which remained undistributed six months after Katrina.

FEMA spent $431 million on 11,000 trailer homes that were never used, $3 million for 4,000 unused cots, and $10 million to fix up 240 rooms in Alabama that housed only six people.

Carnival Cruise Lines got a six-month, $236 million contract to house evacuees on three of its ships, which sat half empty off the Gulf Coast for weeks.

The GAO found that there was insufficient oversight on 13 reconstruction contracts, including $100 million to Bechtel.

Experts predict there is a nearly 50% chance that a Category 3 or greater hurricane will hit the Gulf Coast this season.

On a scale of 1 to 10, FEMA director R. David Paulison gave the agency an 8 in terms of preparedness for this year’s hurricane season.

More than 100,000 families in Louisiana and Mississippi live in FEMA trailers that Paulison said “should not, or could not, ride out even a Category 1 storm.”

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We've never been very good at being conservative.

And usually, that serves us well in doing the ambitious, hard-hitting journalism that you turn to Mother Jones for. But it also means we can't afford to come up short when it comes to scratching together the funds it takes to keep our team firing on all cylinders, and the truth is, we finished our budgeting cycle on June 30 about $100,000 short of our online goal.

This is no time to come up short. It's time to fight like hell, as our namesake would tell us to do, for a democracy where minority rule cannot impose an extreme agenda, where facts matter, and where accountability has a chance at the polls and in the press. If you value our reporting and you can right now, please help us dig out of the $100,000 hole we're starting our new budgeting cycle in with an always-needed and always-appreciated donation today.

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