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Fact Sheet: President Bush's Visit to Biloxi and New Orleans

August 28, 2006

"This Tuesday marks the first anniversary of Katrina - one of the deadliest and most costly natural disasters in American history. ... In Mississippi and Louisiana, we can see many encouraging signs of recovery and renewal, and many reminders that hard work still lies ahead. ... We will stay until the job is done, and by working together, we will help our fellow citizens along the Gulf Coast write a new future of hope, justice, and opportunity for all."

– President George W. Bush, 8/26/06

Today And Tomorrow, President Bush Will Visit Biloxi And New Orleans To Commemorate The One-Year Anniversary Of Hurricane Katrina. The President will deliver remarks on the Gulf Coast's recovery; meet with State and local government officials, community leaders, volunteers, and residents; and tour neighborhoods devastated by Hurricane Katrina. In New Orleans, he will participate in a prayer service, interviews with local and national media, and a roundtable on the Gulf Coast School Library Initiative.

President Bush's Visit To Biloxi, Mississippi

In Biloxi, President Bush Will Attend A Working Lunch Where Governor Haley Barbour And Community Leaders Will Brief The President On Their Vision For Housing Plans And Other Rebuilding Issues.

  • States Have Been Awarded Nearly $17 Billion In Flexible Federal Grants As Part Of The Largest Housing Recovery Program In U.S. History. $16.7 billion in Federal funds have been allocated under the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development's (HUD) Community Development Block Grants (CDBG) program to help rebuild damaged housing and other infrastructure. The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) has closed 98 percent of claims made by policyholders affected by Hurricane Katrina.

The President Will Also Participate In A Walking Tour Of A Neighborhood And Deliver Remarks On Gulf Coast Recovery.

President Bush's Visit To New Orleans, Louisiana

This Evening, The President Will Attend A Dinner With State And Local Officials In New Orleans. Tomorrow, President Bush will tour a New Orleans neighborhood, meet with local residents and volunteers, and deliver remarks on Gulf Coast recovery.

Tomorrow Morning, The President And Mrs. Bush Will Visit St. Louis Cathedral To Attend A Service Commemorating The One-Year Anniversary Of Katrina. St. Louis Cathedral is the centerpiece of Jackson Square, where President Bush delivered his September 2005 pledge to "do what it takes ... to help citizens rebuild their communities and their lives" after Hurricane Katrina. New Orleanians have worshipped in churches on this site since 1727.

Also Tomorrow Morning, President Bush Will Participate In A Roundtable On The Gulf Coast School Library Recovery Initiative And Deliver Remarks On Gulf Coast Recovery. The Gulf Coast School Library Recovery Initiative is a special fund of the Laura Bush Foundation for America's Libraries. It was established to help Gulf Coast schools that were damaged by the hurricanes rebuild their book and material collections. According to the U.S. Department of Education, 1,121 public and private schools in the Gulf Coast region were damaged or destroyed. The Foundation uses a competitive grant process to distribute the Gulf Coast funds, and ten schools received awards totaling $500,000 in May 2006.

  • The Laura Bush Foundation For America's Libraries Is A Private Organization Established In July 2001 To Provide School Libraries With New Books To Expand And Improve Their Collections. More information on the Laura Bush Foundation is available at
  • The Roundtable And The President's Remarks Will Be At Warren Easton Fundamental High School. Warren Easton Fundamental High School is the oldest public school in New Orleans and was reopened as a charter school following Hurricane Katrina.

While In New Orleans, President Bush Will Participate In Interviews With Garland Robinette Of New Orleans' WWL Radio And Brian Williams Of NBC News.

Prior To Departing New Orleans, The President Will Participate In A Photo Opportunity With New Orleans Saints Football Players, Who Will Return To The Superdome This Season. The Saints' first home game this season is on Monday, September 25, against the Atlanta Falcons. The Saints played their first home game last season at Giants Stadium in New Jersey and played subsequent home games in San Antonio and Baton Rouge.

The One-Year Anniversary Of Hurricane Katrina

President Bush Is Committed To Helping The People Of The Gulf Coast Fully Recover From Unprecedented Devastation. One year after Hurricane Katrina, the Gulf Coast is rebuilding, and the Nation is better prepared for future natural disasters. Commerce is returning to the region, and as rebuilding plans are firmed up, growth and progress will follow, and New Orleans will once again be a vibrant American city.

Hurricane Katrina Was The Most Destructive Natural Disaster In U.S. History, And Rebuilding Will Take Time - The One-Year Anniversary Is Not A Finish Line. Challenges still remain, including crime and housing needs.

We Have Learned From Last Year's Inadequate Response And Today Are Better Prepared For Future Disasters. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is dramatically increasing the Nation's stockpiles of relief supplies, retooling FEMA, updating disaster plans, supporting State and local partners, and emphasizing individual and community preparedness. DHS has four times the emergency meals and ice, and 2.5 times the water available this year than were available prior to Hurricane Katrina. These supplies have the capacity to sustain 1 million people for one week.

The Federal Government Has Provided More Than $110 Billion In Resources - $118 Billion Including Tax Relief - To The Gulf Region. This funding is helping fulfill vital needs, including relocation, rental assistance, levees, housing and other infrastructure repair, flood insurance payments, education, and debris removal.

  • Over $77 Billion Of The $110 Billion Either Has Been Dispensed Or Is Available For States To Draw From. We are working with State and local leaders to help them rebuild the region, and the remainder of the funding will become available as States roll out their housing plans to the public.

The Administration Has Demonstrated Its Commitment To The Gulf Coast:

  • President Bush has visited the Gulf Coast 12 times since September 2005 and this trip will be his 13th visit.
  • Mrs. Bush has visited the Gulf Coast 13 times since September 2005 and this trip will be her 14th visit.
  • Cabinet officials have visited the Gulf Coast 82 times since September 2005.

Fulfilling The Federal Government's Obligations To The People Of The Gulf Coast

Federal Gulf Coast Rebuilding Coordinator Don Powell Is Continuing To Work With Governors Kathleen Blanco And Haley Barbour And Mayor Ray Nagin To Provide Resources To The People Who Need Them Most. For example, Federal officials have worked closely with State and local leaders to provide funding for debris removal from private property.

George W. Bush, Fact Sheet: President Bush's Visit to Biloxi and New Orleans Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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