Hurricane Katrina Forest Recovery

As we work together to tackle the historic challenge that Hurricane Katrina has presented to the forestry communities of Mississippi, Louisiana, and Alabama, we hope that this blog will be a valuable resource and tool.

Friday, January 13

Bush Talks About Rebuilding Mississippi

BAY ST. LOUIS, Mississippi (AP) -- President Bush traveled to a still-ravaged Gulf Coast Thursday after three months away, promising that a building boom is on its way and encouraging other Americans to visit, too.

Bush's visit to New Orleans and Mississippi was part of a series of events to showcase his priorities leading up to the State of the Union address. He said he was committed to rebuilding communities devastated from Hurricane Katrina.

"People in far away places like Washington, D.C., still hear you and care about you," Bush told survivors gathered at St. Stanislaus College, just a couple of blocks from where Katrina blew ashore.

Bush's route to the college took him down a coastal road past thousands of snapped trees, debris still hanging from limbs and lots emptied of their buildings. There were almost no intact structures -- in most cases only concrete foundations were left -- and little evidence of rebuilding.

"There's no homes to repair," Bush said. "It's just been flattened. That's what the people of America have got to understand."

Unlike in New Orleans, where most of the population has not returned, the road was lined with dozens of onlookers. Many held signs pleading for help and pledging their determination to rebuild their communities.

Bush recalled his vow from New Orleans' Jackson Square to return the region to its glory.
"I said we're not just going to cope, we're going to overcome," he said. "I meant what I said."

Full text of President Bush’s Speech


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