recovery

New Orleans has celebrated plenty of milestones on its slow road to recovery from Hurricane Katrina, but arguably none is bigger than hosting its first Super Bowl since the 2005 storm left the city in shambles.

To see the remnants of Katrina's destruction, fans coming arriving for Sunday's game will have to stray from the French Quarter and the downtown corridor where the Superdome is located. Even in neighborhoods that bore the brunt of the storm, many of the most glaring scars have faded over time.

Seven years after Hurricane Katrina, five years after the onset of the Great Recession, and nearly three years after the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, what does the very latest data say about how the city and region are doing?

New Orleans is a smaller city but is still growing.

Livingston Parish officials claim lies, bungling and withholding of information are grounds for reversal of the Federal Emergency Management Agency's decision to deny $46 million in waterway cleanup costs Livingston incurred after Hurricane Gustav.

FEMA investigators used incorrect geographic coordinates and couldn't find streams where work was done after the 2008 hurricane, but still ruled the streams posed no flooding danger to inhabited property, according to a 76-page appeal supplement filed by the parish.

Kenner streets damaged during Hurricane Katrina will be repaired in a $26.7 million project set to start in spring.

The Times-Picayune reports that the work is federally financed. The damage was caused by flooding and also by heavy equipment deployed to collect debris after the August 2005 storm.

Among thoroughfares in the repair plan are Joe Yenni and Chateau boulevards, Vintage and Loyola drives, West Esplanade Avenue, Williams Boulevard, West Metairie Avenue and Roosevelt Drive.

New Orleans officials have broken ground for a new $3.6 million fire station designed to serve an area not protected by levees.

The city says the new Alba Road Fire Station in the Venetian Isles area will replace a smaller facility that was 30 years old when it flooded during Hurricane Katrina in 2005.

The station is being built with aid from the Federal Emergency Management Agency. Construction began with Wednesday's groundbreaking ceremony and is to be completed this fall.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency has awarded East Baton Rouge Parish a $1.5 million grant to help city-parish government with costs associated with Hurricane Isaac.

The Advocate reports the grant, part of FEMA's Public Assistance program, will help reimburse the city-parish for equipment and supplies used during the response to Isaac and the recovery effort.

The grant covers the federal share — 75 percent — of the parish's eligible costs and the state or parish will pay the remaining 25 percent.

Abigail Feldman

You see it in your neighborhood or on your way to work: an abandoned house or empty lot — a small piece of New Orleans which once belonged to someone, but now, is sagging or overgrown or both.

Businesses and individuals who claim BP's oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico cost them money have been paid more than $1 billion through the company's class-action settlement with private plaintiffs' attorneys.

Court-supervised claims administrator Patrick Juneau says payments hit the $1 billion mark before the end of 2012. He also said 95 percent of claimants who were offered payments decided to accept them.

Juneau touted the acceptance rate as evidence the settlement and claims process are fair.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency is sending $7.4 million to Louisiana in Hurricane Isaac recovery funds to help impacted families with additional household and education needs and more.

The FEMA dollars are going to the Louisiana Department of Children and Family Services for a Disaster Case Management Program to aid Isaac victims.

Sen. Mary Landrieu announced the new grant Tuesday and said that she had pressed for such family assistance with FEMA administrator Craig Fugate.

New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu's office is touting its latest court victory in its efforts to improve blighted property in a neighborhood hard hit by flooding after Hurricane Katrina.

The mayor's office said Tuesday that a judge has upheld a city code enforcement action against the Lake Terrace Shopping Center in the Gentilly neighborhood. The shopping center has been empty since the 2005 storm.

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