Who's asking: Anna Bragdon
Anna and Tarren just got back from New Orleans, where they were flabbergasted by the devastation. It's the kind of thing you can't really get your mind around until you see it in person, and I haven't; Anna took photos, which you can see on her blog.
The official death toll from Katrina, according to the National Hurricane Center, stood at 1,833 earlier this year. It may continue to creep up, as several hundred people remain missing. The vast majority of the dead -- 1,577 -- came from Louisiana, and most died not in the storm itself but in the surge that followed.
The storm surge that broke the levee wiped out New Orleans' Ninth Ward, and more than half a million people are still displaced. I won't even try to say whether the Ninth Ward should rebuild; whether or not the levee's repaired, doesn't it seem insane to rebuild below sea level?
The FDIC and NeighborWorks America will hold a three-day summit next week to discuss the challenges of rebuilding housing in the Gulf Coast region. Maybe they'll have some answers; for more information, click here.