Thursday, October 15, 2009

Obama views New Orleans recovery

US President Barack Obama will travel to New Orleans on Thursday for a close-up look at the city's recovery since Hurricane Katrina.
In his first visit since taking office, he will tour a school in an area devastated by the storm's aftermath four years ago and meet residents.
Mr Obama made the city's rebuilding one of his campaign pledges.
Opposition politicians have criticised the brevity of the visit, which is scheduled to last less than four hours.
Slow recovery
Mr Obama's first stop will be at the school in the Lower Ninth ward.
This mainly poor area of New Orleans was particularly hard hit by flooding in the wake of the hurricane, which left up to 80% of the city submerged.
The school is the only one out of six to have reopened in the neighbourhood.
According to some estimates, less than a quarter of the residents of the Lower Ninth ward have returned, compared to 75% for the rest of the city.
President of the local neighbourhood council Vera McFadden told the BBC she felt poor areas of the city had been neglected by Washington.
"I really wish he could just ride through the neighbourhood to see what's going on.
"We have children and they deserve a state-of-the-art school. The community is trying to raise money, but we're just forgotten down here."

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