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New Orleans Since Katrina: Before And After

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Hurricane Katrina slammed into New Orleans on Aug. 29, 2005, bringing death, destruction and despair. Entire neighborhoods were wiped out, about 80 percent of the city was underwater and 1,800 people were killed. In the seven years since, the city has rebuilt many areas and billions of dollars were pumped into a revamped levee system, yet the landscape has been forever altered. Here's a look at the city before and after Katrina:

What's the city's population?

_ Before: about 484,000 people.

_ After: about 360,400 people.

How has the racial makeup changed?

_ Before: 67 percent of the population was African-American.

_ After: about 60 percent African-American.

_ Before: whites made up 28 percent.

_ After: about 33 percent of the population.

What shape are the city's flood defenses in?

_ Before: the Army Corps of Engineers was working on upgrading the city's flood defenses to protect against a Category 3 level storms, but ran into construction problems. The city's levee system was incomplete when Katrina came ashore.

_ After: the Corps was given about $14 billion to improve flood defenses. The majority of the post-Katrina work has been completed and the corps said the city was ready to handle a storm a Category 3 hurricane, with winds of at least 111 mph. Isaac is expected to come ashore as a Category 2, with winds of 96 to 110 mph.

Have the city's demographics changed?

_ While demographers say an influx of college-educated newcomers have come to New Orleans since Katrina, the number of poor people remains high. About the same percentage of households live in poverty as they did before Katrina – 27 percent.

Is the city safer?

_ New Orleans' crime rate is stubbornly high and remains nearly twice the national rate, the same as it ranked in 2000.

Are people still living in FEMA trailers?

_ As of July, no one lives in a FEMA trailer. A year after Katrina, more than 70,000 Louisiana families lived in trailers.

Earlier on HuffPost:

Top 10 Costliest U.S. Hurricanes
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