For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
Gulfport — Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Janet Napolitano today traveled to Mississippi with Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Deputy Administrator Richard Serino to mark the fifth anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, joining Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour for a special event commemorating Hurricane Katrina and the continued recovery and restoration efforts in the Gulf Coast region.
"We’ve made tremendous progress over the last twenty months in helping the Gulf Coast recover from one of the worst natural disasters in our country’s history," said Secretary Napolitano. "Since taking office, the Obama administration has made Gulf Coast rebuilding a top priority, dedicating more than $2.5 billion in funding for new schools and universities, fire houses, police stations, roads, bridges, hospitals and public health resources across the Gulf."
During their visit, Secretary Napolitano and Deputy Administrator Serino toured a number of facilities that were damaged or destroyed in Hurricane Katrina but have since been rebuilt or under construction with the assistance of FEMA Public Assistance and Hazard Mitigation dollars – including the Long Beach City Hall Complex, the Long Beach Fire Department, and the Pass Christian City Hall Complex – highlighting unprecedented collaboration between the federal government and state and local leaders.
Secretary Napolitano also met with U.S. Coast Guard personnel at USCG Station Gulfport to personally thank these dedicated men and women on the front lines for their ongoing efforts and commitment to restore and rebuild the Gulf – including through the continued response to the BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill.
Following that tour she met with local first responders at the Pass Christian Municipal Complex to thank them and hear first-hand about continuing recovery efforts in the Pass Christian community.
Since January 2009, the Obama Administration has awarded $170 million for new construction projects in Mississippi. To date, FEMA has provided $3 billion to Mississippi families and individuals over the past five years; and another $3 billion to help Mississippi communities repair and rebuild.
Earlier this week, Secretary Napolitano and FEMA Administrator Fugate announced a total of more than $1.8 billion dollars in funding for the state of Louisiana’s Recovery School District and Orleans Parish School Board to repair and replace public schools damaged by Hurricane Katrina and an additional $25 million in newly approved funding for rebuilding projects in Louisiana and Mississippi.