New Orleans’ non-recovery by the numbers

thank you to the great Bill Quigley for this data:
Three of his points:
35,451: The median income for white families in New Orleans is $60,553; that is $35,451 more than for black families whose median income was $25,102. In the last 10 years the median income for black families grew by 7 percent. At the same time, the median income for white families grew three times as fast, by 22 percent.

33: Rent in New Orleans is up 33 percent for one-bedroom apartments and 41 percent for two-bedroom apartments since Katrina hit. This is very tough because in New Orleans, 55 percent of residents rent. (The national average is 35 percent.) CNN/Money recently named New Orleans as one of the worst cities in the US for renters. Before Katrina, the average renter spent 19 percent of her income on rent. The Data Center reports 37 percent of renters in New Orleans now spend more than 50 percent of their income on rent. Rental apartments are mostly substandard and 78 percent of them, nearly 50,000 apartments, need major repairs.

99,650: There are 99,650 fewer African Americans living in New Orleans now than in 2000, compared to 11,000 fewer whites.

Read more about it

Study: Corps decisions doomed canal walls in Katrina

What is evident from the project record is that the Army Corps of Engineers recommended raising the canal floodwalls for the 17th Street Canal, but recommended gated structures at the mouths of the Orleans and London Avenue canals because the latter plan was less expensive.”

A corps spokesman didn’t comment specifically on the report, but said the agency gained valuable knowledge from such studies that it has used in rebuilding the levee system after Katrina.

“The Army Corps is first and foremost a learning organization,” said spokesman Ricky Boyett. “Our focus over the last ten years has been to learn from all the lessons of Hurricane Katrina.”

He noted that New Orleans’ revamped levee system protects much of the area from a so-called 100-year storm, or one with a 1 percent chance of occurring in any given year, and it’s also designed to resist erosion during stronger storms. “As a result of this effort and the efforts of all of our partners, the greater New Orleans area now has the best level of risk reduction in its history,” Boyett said.

Levee study

Please Forward: How Blogging Reconnected New Orleans After Katrina

Much of the story of Hurricane Katrina lived on the internet as the city reconnected during its diaspora. When Cynthia Joyce went looking for one vital account for a course she was teaching, she found the site down and the piece forgotten. This inspired her search for the works that became Please Forward: How Blogging Reconnected New Orleans After Katrina. Some of the writing included is famous and easily obtainable; a good percentage of the work is currently unavailable due to aging servers and broken links. Taken together, these pieces are powerful testament to the New Orleans blogging community who proved the internet could function as a crucial platform in a time of crisis.

Official Launch Party

WHAT: “Please Forward” launch party, featuring contributor readings and book signing

WHEN: Tuesday, August 18 at 7PM

WHERE: Press Street HQ (3718 St. Claude Ave.)

Other events in New Orleans:

  • Thursday, Aug. 20, 6PM:  Octavia books reading/signing featuring readings by Deborah “Big Red” Cotton, Michael Homan, and Bart “Editor B” Everson (New Orleans, LA)
  • Saturday, Aug. 29, 10:30AM: Rising Tide Conference – “What if we’d had Twitter? — An exercise in anachronistic tweets” (New Orleans, LA)