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ISSUES-Hurricane Katrina and Its Politicization
SUMMARY
RESOURCES

Hurricane Katrina and Its Politicization

Hurricane Katrina was a Category 5 storm that struck the east coast of the United States on August 29, 2005 and caused catastrophic damage, particularly along the coastlines of Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama. Most notably, levees that separated New Orleans from Lake Pontchartrain were breached by surging waters, resulting in a devastating flood that engulfed about 80 percent of the city. All told, Katrina was responsible for more than 1,800 deaths and approximately $90 billion in damages, making it the costliest hurricane in American history.

The storm took on strong political undercurrents when critics of George W. Bush publicly impugned the President for demonstrating poor leadership by having failed to mobilize rescue operations quickly enough during the disaster. They attributed this purported failure to the racism, misplaced priorities, and anti-environmental policies of the Bush administration.

The RESOURCES column located on the right side of this page contains links to articles, essays, books, and videos that explore such topics as:

  • claims that Katrina's ferocity was the result of Bush administration policies vis a vis the environment;

  • charges that racism played a role in slowing the federal government's response to the disaster;

  • how local political leaders, rather than the federal government, failed to proactively relocate area residents to safe havens; and

  • how the longstanding policies of the environmentalist Left had prevented the victimized region from taking adequate measures to prepare for a catastrophe such as Katrina.


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