President and residents mark Katrina anniversary - NBC12 - WWBT - Richmond, VA News On Your Side

President and residents mark Katrina anniversary

By ERICA WERNER
Associated Press Writer

VINEYARD HAVEN, Mass. (AP) - President Barack Obama is aiming to underscore his commitment to a region weary of calamity as he travels to New Orleans on the fifth anniversary of Hurricane Katrina.

Obama ends his Martha's Vineyard vacation Sunday and heads to the Gulf, five years to the day from when Katrina roared ashore in Louisiana. Eighty percent of New Orleans was flooded when the storm tore through protective levees.

More than 1,800 people along the Gulf coast died in the storm, mostly in Louisiana.

After years where halting progress mixed often with setbacks and despair, the city was getting back on its feet when the BP oil spill dealt another blow. The exploded well spewed more than 200 million gallons of crude into the Gulf before it was capped in mid-July.

Obama is to speak Sunday afternoon at Xavier University, a historically black, Catholic university that was badly flooded by the storm. The White House says he will discuss what's been done and remains to be done in rebuilding from Katrina, and also talk about an oil spill cleanup that's been complicated by conflicting assessments of how much oil remains and its long-term effects.

For Obama, one challenge is to reassure residents who remain skeptical of government promises after witnessing former President George W. Bush's response to Katrina, which was criticized as out-of-touch and ham handed. Although criticism of Obama's response to the Gulf oil spill rarely reached the level of anger directed at Bush, some still saw it as lacking in speed and coordination. Obama has work to do to change that perception.

Moreover, Obama arrives as many residents of the Louisiana coast chafe under the moratorium on deepwater oil drilling he ordered in the wake of the spill, which is costing New Orleans' oil-industry-dependant economy. And many residents would like to see a greater federal commitment to restoring the coast's rapidly eroding wetlands which provide the first line of defense again hurricanes.

The one-day visit to New Orleans is the start of a grueling period for Obama, who must set a fall agenda amid punishing economic news. Crucial midterm elections loom in November.

Tuesday marks the formal end to combat missions in Iraq, and Obama is to address troops in Ft. Bliss, Texas, and deliver an Oval Office speech. The next day he plunges into Middle East diplomacy, hosting Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas for individual talks and a joint dinner ahead of direct negotiations Thursday between the leaders.

And once Congress returns after Labor Day, more battles await as Obama tries to push his legislative agenda.

Copyright 2010 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

  • Latest news from NBC12.comNEWSMore>>

  • Laughter, tears as former first lady Barbara Bush remembered

    Laughter, tears as former first lady Barbara Bush remembered

    Saturday, April 21 2018 12:04 AM EDT2018-04-21 04:04:04 GMT
    Saturday, April 21 2018 11:17 PM EDT2018-04-22 03:17:16 GMT
    (AP Photo/Evan Vucci). Mourners pause as former U.S. first lady Barbara Bush lies in repose during the visitation of former first lady Barbara Bush at St. Martin's Episcopal Church, Friday, April 20, 2018, in Houston.(AP Photo/Evan Vucci). Mourners pause as former U.S. first lady Barbara Bush lies in repose during the visitation of former first lady Barbara Bush at St. Martin's Episcopal Church, Friday, April 20, 2018, in Houston.

    As the outpouring of tributes continues for Barbara Bush, the general public can pay its respects to the former first lady.

    More >>

    As the outpouring of tributes continues for Barbara Bush, the general public can pay its respects to the former first lady.

    More >>
  • Trump considering pardon for late boxer Jack Johnson

    Trump considering pardon for late boxer Jack Johnson

    Saturday, April 21 2018 3:44 PM EDT2018-04-21 19:44:16 GMT
    Saturday, April 21 2018 11:05 PM EDT2018-04-22 03:05:41 GMT
    Stallone, who starred in the 1976 boxing film "Rocky" and several sequels, is a supporter of the president and attended Trump's New Years' Eve party at Mar-a-Lago in 2016. (Source: CNN/Twitter)Stallone, who starred in the 1976 boxing film "Rocky" and several sequels, is a supporter of the president and attended Trump's New Years' Eve party at Mar-a-Lago in 2016. (Source: CNN/Twitter)

    President Donald Trump says he's considering "a Full Pardon!" for boxing's first black heavyweight champion more than 100 years after Jack Johnson was convicted by all-white jury of "immorality" for one of his...

    More >>

    President Donald Trump says he's considering "a Full Pardon!" for boxing's first black heavyweight champion more than 100 years after Jack Johnson was convicted by all-white jury of "immorality" for one of his relationships.

    More >>
  • Thousands sing 'Happy Birthday' to Queen Elizabeth II

    Thousands sing 'Happy Birthday' to Queen Elizabeth II

    Saturday, April 21 2018 6:54 AM EDT2018-04-21 10:54:10 GMT
    Saturday, April 21 2018 10:16 PM EDT2018-04-22 02:16:16 GMT
    (Toby Melville/Pool Photo via AP). Britain's Queen Elizabeth raises her glass during speeches at The Queen's Dinner, during the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting at Buckingham Palace in London, Thursday, April 19, 2018.(Toby Melville/Pool Photo via AP). Britain's Queen Elizabeth raises her glass during speeches at The Queen's Dinner, during the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting at Buckingham Palace in London, Thursday, April 19, 2018.

    Queen Elizabeth II is marking her 92nd birthday with a star-studded concert in London.

    More >>

    Queen Elizabeth II is marking her 92nd birthday with a star-studded concert in London.

    More >>
  • Trending StoriesTrending StoriesMore>>

  • Delta passenger fined $500 for apple

    Delta passenger fined $500 for apple

    Saturday, April 21 2018 1:01 PM EDT2018-04-21 17:01:03 GMT
    Saturday, April 21 2018 6:45 PM EDT2018-04-21 22:45:42 GMT
    adlock's healthy snack turned into a tough reality to stomach. (Source: KDVR/CNN)adlock's healthy snack turned into a tough reality to stomach. (Source: KDVR/CNN)

    Crystal Tadlock is not happy about the fine she said

    More >>

    Crystal Tadlock is not happy about the fine she said

    More >>
  • 'Austin Powers' star Verne Troyer dies at age 49

    'Austin Powers' star Verne Troyer dies at age 49

    Saturday, April 21 2018 4:51 PM EDT2018-04-21 20:51:28 GMT
    Saturday, April 21 2018 6:03 PM EDT2018-04-21 22:03:39 GMT

    Verne Troyer, an actor famous for his role as Mini-Me in the "Austin Powers" trilogy, has passed away.

    More >>

    Verne Troyer, an actor famous for his role as Mini-Me in the "Austin Powers" trilogy, has passed away.

    More >>
  • Judge accused of abusing, berating defendants

    Judge accused of abusing, berating defendants

    Saturday, April 21 2018 7:20 AM EDT2018-04-21 11:20:28 GMT
    Saturday, April 21 2018 7:30 AM EDT2018-04-21 11:30:55 GMT
    Judge Merrilee Ehrlich has stepped down after being accused of berating defendants. (Source: WSVN/CNN)Judge Merrilee Ehrlich has stepped down after being accused of berating defendants. (Source: WSVN/CNN)

    A judge accused of "aggressive and tyrannical" behavior has stepped down from the bench.

    More >>

    A judge accused of "aggressive and tyrannical" behavior has stepped down from the bench.

    More >>
Powered by Frankly