Most of us say "thanks" without thinking.
WASHINGTON, Aug. 29 -- The office of Sen. Mary L. Landrieu, D-La., issued the following news release:
U.S. Senator Mary L. Landrieu, D-La., chair of the Senate Energy Committee and Homeland Security Appropriations Subcommittee, today marked the ninth anniversary of Hurricane Katrina with visits to St. Bernard, the Lower Ninth Ward, the Audubon Louisiana Nature Center and Beacon Light Cathedral.
In the nine years since Hurricane Katrina, Sen. Landrieu has delivered more than $120 billion for the Gulf Coast to recover. Of that, more than $50 billion went to Louisiana to build better schools for Louisiana's children, strong levees that hold when the water rises and the wind blows and homes for families to build a prosperous future for the next generation of Louisianians. She established revenue sharing and delivered billions to restore Louisiana's wetlands, created a more responsive and agile FEMA, cancelled hundreds of millions in community disaster loans and rolled back draconian flood insurance rates.
"Nine years ago, Hurricane Katrina crashed our shores and left in its wake devastation and destruction all along the Gulf Coast. In the weeks and months that followed, the story of Hurricane Katrina was about the failure of our levees to hold and our government to quickly and adequately respond to the havoc wreaked by the storm and the collapse of the federal level system. It was about the lives lost and the long road to recovery and rebuilding that lay ahead. But that was only the beginning of the story," Sen. Landrieu said.
"We have not forgotten the loved ones we lost and the homes and businesses demolished nine years ago, but the story of Hurricane Katrina is now about the resilience of America's working coast. Nearly a decade later, most of our homes and businesses are rebuilt, job creation continues to soar, our schools are newer and better and our levees are stronger. Out of the tragedy of Katrina came a resolve to not just rebuild the same Gulf Coast that stood before the storm, but to build a better, stronger and more resilient coast.
"There is still more work to be done, and not every community has seen the recovery and rebuilding happen fast enough, but we will continue to roll up our sleeves and do the hard work to ensure that we keep making progress. For centuries, the Gulf Coast has survived war, disease, storms and disasters, and after each disaster, it rises up and grows stronger. We produce the energy that keeps the lights on and fuels our cars; we harvest one-third of the domestic seafood for the entire country; and we stand as the nation's recreation capital for sportsman, tourists and adventure seekers. With the strong resolve and endless determination of our people, I have no doubt that no matter what obstacles we face we will continue to flourish for many centuries to come, and that America's Resilient Coast is here to stay."
View Sen. Landrieu's record of delivering billions to build and reforms to protect America's Resilient Coast:
Cancelled more than $391 million in Community Disaster Loans for Southeast Louisiana
Thanks to two laws by Sen. Landrieu in 2007 and 2013 that made community disaster loans forgivable again and fixed a flawed formula used by FEMA, Sen. Landrieu has cancelled the following amounts in each parish below. A more detailed version is available online.
* St. Tammany Parish ---$117.4 million
* Jefferson Parish --- $63.8 million
* Lafourche Parish ---$9.2 million
* Orleans Parish ---$179.4 million
* Plaquemines Parish ---$11.8 million
* St. Bernard Parish ---$13.6 million
* Washington Parish ---$1.8 million
Built a new, $14.5 billion flood protection system, stopped draconian flood insurance rates and reformed FEMA to be stronger and more responsive
* Called the Paul Revere of flood insurance for her early warnings about the flawed 2012 Biggert-Waters flood insurance bill, Sen. Landrieu built a bipartisan and geographically diverse coalition of senators to repeal the most pernicious provisions of the law, returned affordability as the centerpiece of the National Flood Insurance Program and forced FEMA to recognize local levees in their flood maps.
* Secured $14.5 billion to build a stronger flood protection system for residents in Jefferson, St. Bernard, Orleans, Plaquemines and St Charles parishes.
* Reformed FEMA to be stronger and more responsive, and to provide it a better toolbox to respond quicker; save millions of taxpayer dollars; and reduce construction delays, protracted disputes and bureaucratic waste.
Established revenue sharing to provide a dedicated revenue stream to restore the coast
* In 2006, Sen. Landrieu vanquished the ghost of Leander Perez, who turned down President Truman's offer to share offshore energy production revenue with Louisiana in the 1940s, when she passed the Gulf of Mexico Energy Security Act. That law established revenue sharing for the energy producing states in the Gulf of Mexico. Already, Gulf Coast states have received $30 million because of this law to fund projects, and, in 2017, up to $500 million will be generated for the four Gulf Coast States for levees, roads and coastal restoration.
* Sen. Landrieu also passed the RESTORE ACT in 2012 that will direct billions in oil spill fines to Louisiana for coastal restoration.