This runs down disasters by State each year, and clearly offers data on Katrina, the cost of which is of course appalling.
Following Hurricane Hazel in 1954, which hit Toronto incredibly hard judging by the pictures and the death toll for a place that doesn't get Hurricanes, the Metropolitan Government which had only been formed the year before went through the Flood Plain maps and forbade building on any of them. Therefore there are tracts of land following all the rivers in Toronto which however attractive, are barred from building. The one exception they made was to site an expressway down one of the river tracks, which is subject periodically to land slippage and blockage during heavy periods of rain. (Stupidity occurs everywhere.) As a result of the Great Toronto Fire of ?1907? all buildings were required to be built of brick. There are no frame houses in Toronto anymore. The greatest good for the greatest number, not freedom to do as you please and then beg the government to bail you out.
When you look at the assistance Louisiana has received over this short period (?10 years) it makes you wonder why they don't simply do the same thing there. If it's subject to flooding, don't allow building. Since the Mississippi requires dredging periodically, why not spend the next 100 years filling in the spaces liable to flooding with clean building debris, bricks cement rocks what have you followed by clean fill until there are no flooding areas. All the land is filled up to the height of the levees or higher. Then you build, but only if you've armoured the banks of the Mississippi so it doesn't erode them and put houses at danger.
If the Dutch can recover land from the sea, and in particular that massive inlet formerly called the Zuider Zee, why can't the United States, a country far wealthier than Holland create the concrete tetrapods used to prevent erosion in order to recreate the barrier islands which protected New Orleans. In fact why not do it for the whole Gulf Coast including Texas, so that the Government doesn't have to continually bail out those bastions of Republican short-sightedness, formerly bastions of Democratic short-sightedness. Then again Dutch companies are more honest than are most American Corporations not least because they've been fighting the sea for Centuries, and take protecting people seriously, and not as a scam to bilk the government of money.
The same is true in the Mid-West which suffers flooding from the Mississippi every spring. In Manitoba, which is subject to the same melt and runoff conditions they have created safety channels to carry runoff away from inhabited areas and onto farmland. Farm houses are required to be built in areas free from flooding, or to be built on mounds that raise them above flooding. All the farm buildings are built on a raised area about 20 feet higher than the surrounding ground, and all are safe from flooding. The flooding rarely lasts much more than a week, and besides every farm has a boat or boats.
It's ludicrous that the same people in newer houses built in the same places have their hands out for relief every couple of years. And these are honest people.
Oh, and Toni, did you notice that White folk account for 35% of all Food Stamps? Hispanics account for less than their share of the population for Food Stamps.