JONATHAN COHN AUGUST 16, 2010
After Hurricane Katrina in 2005, it was New Orleans's soul that needed saving. Over three fourths of the city flooded, and the damage was catastrophic. All in all, the Gulf Coast as a whole suffered about:
$150 billion in damage
That estimate comes from Professors Mark Burton and Michael Hicks. They don't break it down by exact location, but the figure gives a rough guide to the magnitude of the disaster. Residential damage alone comes to about $75 billion. By comparison, Hurricane Andrew did a much smaller (though still astonishing) $45 billion in damage, residential or otherwise. In economic terms, Katrina was the most destructive hurricane in American history. Five years later, Jon Cohn is taking a look at how well New Orleans has recovered.