The Latest: Clinton: Celebrate progress but continue work

AP News
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Posted: Aug 29, 2015 8:41 PM
The Latest: Clinton: Celebrate progress but continue work

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — The latest in the 10th anniversary commemorations of Hurricane Katrina (all times local):

7:15 p.m.

Former President Bill Clinton says New Orleans should celebrate progress after Katrina but also work on recovery for all.

Clinton spoke Saturday night at an event to remember those who died in the storm, thank volunteers and commemorate how far the city has progressed since Aug. 29, 10 years ago.

Katrina killed more than 1,800 people across the Gulf Coast and cost billions of dollars in damage in one of the most deadly storms in the country's history.

Clinton said New Orleans should be happy and celebrate but that "our job is always to form a more perfect union."

His comments spoke to the uneven recovery across the city. Some areas are booming while other neighborhoods still suffer from deep poverty.

6:00 p.m.

Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi praised the progress of New Orleans in the 10 years after Hurricane Katrina and said the city has taught America how to be great.

The Congresswoman spoke at a ceremony in New Orleans to commemorate the anniversary of the storm.

Katrina killed more than 1,800 people across the Gulf Coast and cost billions of dollars in damage in one of the most deadly storms in the country's history.

The ceremony also features performances by musical artists Ledisi and the Rebirth Brass Band and will conclude with a speech by former president Bill Clinton.

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1:45 p.m.

Former Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour, who was in office when Katrina struck, is praising volunteers from around the country who came to the state to help with recovery.

He says at least 954,000 people volunteered in Mississippi during the first five years after the storm. Barbour says many of them "thought it was God's command to try to help people in need."

He spoke Saturday during a prayer service at a seaside park in Gulfport.

Earlier in the day, both Barbour and current Gov. Phil Bryant spoke at a Katrina commemoration in Biloxi. The storm left a wide swath of destruction across the southern end of Mississippi.

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12:15 p.m.

Residents and community activists in New Orleans' Lower 9th Ward gathered at the levee where, 10 years ago, Hurricane Katrina's storm waters broke through and submerged the neighborhood.

After several speeches, a parade snaked through the neighborhood while music played from boom boxes and people sold water from ice chests under the hot sun.

Wilmington Sims watched the parade from his front porch. He helped build the porch before Katrina, then had to re-do the work after flooding from the levee break damaged the first floor.

He says the outpouring of support was "uplifting" but many people still need help. Sims says the Lower 9th Ward, which sustained some of the worst flooding, still needs economic development.

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11 a.m.

Local and congressional leaders laid wreaths at a memorial holding the unclaimed and unidentified bodies from Hurricane Katrina, kicking off a day of events to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the storm hitting Louisiana and Mississippi.

New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu praised the city's progress and a group of musicians played a mournful funeral song as dignitaries slowly walked the flowers to the monuments holding dozens of bodies.

Katrina ultimately claimed more than 1,800 people and caused tens of billions of dollars in damage. Most of the deaths came in New Orleans and the surrounding area when levees protecting the city failed, leaving 80 percent of the city underwater.

The memorial was created with help from area funeral homes and the city's coroner to house the unclaimed and unidentified bodies.

At the conclusion of the event the band switched to a rousing rendition of "When the Saints Go Marching in" as some people in the audience swayed to the music.

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10:30 a.m.

Church bells are ringing in Mississippi to mark the 10th anniversary of the day when Hurricane Katrina slammed the state's coast.

In Biloxi, clergy and community leaders were to gather for a memorial to Katrina's victims and attend a concert celebrating the post-storm recovery.

Residents across Mississippi and Louisiana are paying homage Saturday to those who died in the storm and to celebrate how far the region has come since the hurricane struck.

Katrina was one of the deadliest storms in U.S. history. The hurricane's force and flooding ultimately caused more than 1,800 deaths and roughly $151 billion in damage across the region. In New Orleans, wide scale failures of the levee system protecting the city left 80 percent of New Orleans under water.