Obama to Mark Katrina Anniversary in New Orleans

EDGARTOWN, Mass.  (Tribune Washington Bureau/TNS) -

President Barack Obama will travel to New Orleans next week to commemorate the 10th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, the costliest disaster in U.S. history, and highlight the area’s recovery from the devastating storm.

During his Aug. 27 visit, Obama will speak about “the region’s rebirth and what’s possible when citizens, city and corporate leaders all work together” to improve the economy, a White House official said.

Other administration officials will also travel to parts of the region that were affected by the storm, which made landfall on Aug. 29, 2005, and killed more than 1,800 people. New Orleans’ levees failed, flooding 80 percent of the city.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency has made more than $5.2 billion available to Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Florida for thousands of public-works projects, the administration says. Money has also been spent on mitigation projects to help protect against another major storm.