H.Res. 1577 (111th): Observing the fifth anniversary of the date on which Hurricane Katrina devastated the Gulf Coast, saluting the ...

...dedication of volunteers who offered assistance in support of those affected by the storm, recognizing the progress of effo

111th Congress, 2009–2010. Text as of Jul 29, 2010 (Introduced).

Status & Summary | PDF | Source: GPO

IV

111th CONGRESS

2d Session

H. RES. 1577

IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

July 29, 2010

(for himself, Mr. Boustany, Mr. Scalise, Mr. Cassidy, Mr. Melancon, Mr. Fleming, and Mr. Alexander) submitted the following resolution; which was referred to the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure

RESOLUTION

Observing the fifth anniversary of the date on which Hurricane Katrina devastated the Gulf Coast, saluting the dedication of volunteers who offered assistance in support of those affected by the storm, recognizing the progress of efforts to rebuild the affected Gulf Coast region, commending the persistence of the people of the States of Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and Florida, and reaffirming Congress’ commitment to restore and renew.

Whereas, on August 29, 2005, Hurricane Katrina inflicted catastrophic damage as a Category 3 hurricane and caused damage estimated at $81,000,000,000 in the States of Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and Florida;

Whereas Hurricane Katrina is 1 of the 5 deadliest hurricanes in United States history with a recorded 1,822 fatalities, including 1,577 in Louisiana, 238 in Mississippi, 14 in Florida, 2 in Georgia, and 2 in Alabama, according to the National Hurricane Center;

Whereas more than 1,200,000 people were under some type of evacuation order, including New Orleans’ first mandatory evacuation in the city’s history;

Whereas 785,000 Gulf Coast residents were displaced, and many remain displaced to this day;

Whereas hundreds of thousands were unemployed as a result of devastation to businesses;

Whereas tens of thousands of homes and businesses from Louisiana to Florida were destroyed by the flooding;

Whereas 3,000,000 people were left without electricity for weeks;

Whereas major highways were destroyed, including the Interstate 10 Twin Span Bridge connecting the cities of New Orleans and Slidell in Louisiana;

Whereas the Louisiana Superdome sheltered 26,000 evacuees and suffered roof leaks and other significant damage from strong winds;

Whereas neighboring cities and States took in thousands of displaced residents and provided medical care and shelter at make-shift hospitals, such as the Katrina Clinic at the Astrodome/Reliant Center Complex in Houston, Texas;

Whereas the United States Coast Guard rescued more than 24,273 people and assisted with the evacuation of 9,462 patients and medical personnel from hospitals and nursing homes;

Whereas the United States Armed Forces orchestrated one of the largest domestic rescue operations in history, with command centers at the Emergency Operations Center in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, the Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport in New Orleans, Louisiana, the Naval Air Station in Pensacola, Florida, and Camp Shelby in Hattiesburg, Mississippi;

Whereas the American Red Cross, Habitat for Humanity, Salvation Army, America’s Second Harvest (now known as Feeding America), Emergency Communities, Catholic Charities, PRC Compassion, Southern Baptist Disaster Relief, and other charitable organizations provided crucial food, water, and hygiene products to victims;

Whereas countless first responders, such as police officers, emergency medical personnel, and firefighters, from across the United States worked around the clock to provide care for and to protect the safety of the residents of the affected communities;

Whereas more than 70 countries and international organizations pledged monetary donations in excess of $854,000,000, including a pledge of $500,000,000 by the State of Kuwait, and $100,000,000 by the State of Qatar, which awarded 109 full tuition scholarships to Tulane University students affected by the storm and restored 100 homes for low-income victims in the historic Tremé/Lafitte neighborhood of New Orleans;

Whereas Louisiana’s Piggyback Program was created to support affordability for low-income residents in areas receiving Gulf Opportunity Zone Low Income Housing Tax Credits;

Whereas the greater New Orleans Small Business Development Center helped more than 500 fishermen secure recovery funding through the Technical Assistance for Small Firms program;

Whereas following the devastation of Hurricane Katrina, medical residents and faculty, as well as grassroots organizations quickly mobilized to provide immediate health services and have since developed as a group of 25 organizations with over 90 sites and this group has built a unique, high quality, efficient, community-based primary care network for the greater New Orleans area and now serve as the primary source of health care for approximately 290,000 people;

Whereas the Healthcare Recovery Training System (HeaRTS) at the Southwest Louisiana Area Health Education Center provided health care training to more than 2,300 people, including 500 participants in the program who were displaced by the storm;

Whereas the Jefferson Parish Chamber of Commerce and nonprofit Café Reconcile in New Orleans offered culinary arts training for at-risk youth;

Whereas the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration improved its storm tracking guidance by adding 8 Caribbean observation buoys and expanding its satellite communication system network to include 25 coastal Weather Forecast Offices;

Whereas in 2005, Congress directed the United States Army Corps of Engineers to deliver a plan to Congress for providing coastal Louisiana with Category 5-equivalent hurricane protection;

Whereas the United States Army Corps of Engineers has not yet provided Congress with a concrete set of recommendations to achieve this level of protection;

Whereas Louisiana loses approximately 25 square miles of coastal land each year and coastal restoration efforts along the Louisiana coast and barrier protection at the mouth of Lake Pontchartrain to protect against storm surge are necessary components of achieving Category 5-equivalent hurricane protection for South Louisiana;

Whereas the United States Army Corps of Engineers has been constructing stronger levees by replacing failed I-Wall design floodwalls with stronger T-wall or L-wall design floodwalls and reinforcing the most vulnerable undamaged I-Walls and surge protection closures;

Whereas these improved levees are an essential aspect of providing Category 5-equivalent hurricane protection;

Whereas the convention and visitors bureaus across the Gulf Coast attempt to restore tourism, particularly the New Orleans Metropolitan Convention and Visitors Bureau, which won the bid to host the Super Bowl XLVII in 2013;

Whereas colleges and universities in the hurricane-ravished communities continue to struggle due to low enrollment and have been forced to restructure and reduce their programs; and

Whereas social, economic, and mental health effects are compounded due to trauma suffered from the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill and Hurricane Katrina: Now, therefore, be it

That the House of Representatives—

(1)

expresses its support to the victims of Hurricane Katrina;

(2)

commends the courageous efforts of those who assisted in the recovery progress;

(3)

recognizes the contributions of the communities in Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and Florida to the United States; and

(4)

reaffirms its commitment to rebuild, renew, and restore the Gulf Coast region.