“We did make some mistakes, but we are on top of the problem”- that was the message from George W Bush in a prime time speech from Louisiana.It was his fourth trip to the area hit by hurricane Katrina:
“The systems and every level of government was not well coordinated and was overwhelmed in the first days. Americans have every right to expect a more effective response in a time of emergency. When the federal government fails to meet such an obligation, I as president am responsible for the problem, and for the solution,” he said.
That solution means putting what is expected to be the most expensive rebuilding project in American history into action.
At a time when Congress is watching its wallet the Katrina disaster will continue to drain dollars from the public coffers long after the floodwaters have been pumped away.
And it is not just New Orleans. In Biloxi, Mississippi, many homes were levelled by the storm.
The death toll from the disaster is now around 700. One million people were displaced.
After the clean-up Bush is proposing programmes in education, job training and help for small businesses – aiming to give those who left something to return to.