Gulf Still Rebuilding Two Years After Katrina

It was two years ago today that Hurricane Katrina battered Louisiana and the Gulf Coast, killing hundreds of people and exposing weaknesses in the government's ability to cope with the disaster.

President Bush and Mrs. Bush are there today to mark the moment. It's the president's 15th trip to the region since Katrina struck.

Today, Bush and his wife plan to visit a New Orleans charter school and a community center down the Gulf Coast in Mississippi.

Two years after the storm, there has been progress. New Orleans' population continues to grow and sales tax revenues are approaching normal.

But huge areas of the city remain in shambles. Bureaucracy is choking federal and state assistance, which hasn't helped redeem the federal government from it's dismal performance in the storm's immediate aftermath.

Bush's Gulf Coast rebuilding chief says 96 billion aid dollars have been disbursed or are available to local governments, implying the fault lies with local officials.

The storm killed more than 1,600 people along the Gulf Coast and flooded nearly 80 percent of New Orleans.

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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