Sep 24, 2009 2:06 PM by Jthibodeaux
WASHINGTON - United States Senator Mary L. Landrieu, D-La., today released the following statement commemorating the fourth anniversary of Hurricane Rita:
"Four years ago today, Hurricane Rita came crashing ashore along the Louisiana/Texas border. With winds in excess of 120 miles per hour pushing a 20-foot wall of water, the storm wreaked catastrophic damage across Southwest Louisiana. The storm at its peak was the most intense ever to have entered the Gulf of Mexico, breaking a record set only three weeks earlier by Hurricane Katrina. When the skies cleared, Rita ranked as the third-most-expensive natural disaster in U.S. history.
"Hurricane Rita caused 120 deaths and billions of dollars in damages to the Gulf Coast. Whole communities - including Hackberry, Cameron, Creole, Grand Chenier, Holly Beach, and Johnson Bayou - were almost completely destroyed.
"Despite the devastation, the people of Southwest Louisiana have come together determined not only to rebuild their communities back to the way they were before this ferocious storm, but to make them stronger. This unyielding spirit is at the heart of the core values that make me so proud to have helped their efforts.
"The federal government must continue to do everything it can to ensure that red tape is cut, common sense is used and smart, local decisions to rebuild are respected. I will continue to work to make sure that the federal government does its share and focuses the appropriate resources to help Louisiana communities make a full recovery."