President Obama praised New Orleans for its enormous progress after the devastation of Hurricane Katrina. After touring the city and discussing the problems that still remain, the president said the residents of the city “give us hope.”
According to ABC News, it’s been 10 years since Katrina struck New Orleans. The disaster left over 80 percent of the city flooded, and over 1,000 people dead. Although the city is still recovering, President Obama explained that the progress so far is an example of government success.
“If Katrina was initially an example of what happens when government fails, the recovery has been an example of what’s possible when government works together.”
According to Time Magazine, the president gave his speech Thursday night in the Andrew P. Sanchez Community Center in the Lower Ninth Ward. It’s an area still struggling to rebuild, but Obama admired their endurance.
“You are an example of what is possible when in the face of tragedy, in the face of hardship good people come together and lend a hand.”
The POTUS said that before the hurricane struck, New Orleans was already suffering due to years of poverty and inequity.
“Like a body weakened, already, undernourished already, when the storm hit there were no resources to fall back on.”
According to Yahoo News, earlier on Thursday, Obama went on a tour of the historic Treme section, where the population is still 21 percent below its pre-Katrina levels. He also took time to visit the famous Dooky Chase restaurant and chat with Leah Chase, the 92-year-old owner of the business and self-confessed fan of the president.
Obama went on to explain that poverty was still an issue for New Orleans, along with problems like crime.
“This is a community, obviously, that still has a lot of poverty. This is an area where young people still, too often, are taking the wrong path before they graduate from high school. This is a community that still needs resources and still needs help.”
Still, his message focused around the inspiration of New Orleans’ resilience in the aftermath of the disaster. He occasionally used it as a metaphor for the nation as a whole, which was also “underwater” after the 2008 financial crisis.
“You’ve made a lot of progress. That gives us hope. But that doesn’t allow for complacency. It doesn’t mean we can rest. But there’s something in you guys that’s irrepressible. You know the sun comes out after every storm. You’ve got hope.”
[Image Credit: Getty Images]