Obama to mark 10 years since Katrina

  • 20/08/2015
US President Barack Obama (Reuters)
US President Barack Obama (Reuters)

US President Barack Obama will next week travel to New Orleans to mark the 10th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina.

Obama will next Thursday (local time) meet Big Easy residents and Mayor Mitch Landrieu and deliver a speech on the "region's rebirth", the White House announced on Wednesday.

More than 1800 people were killed, and one million others displaced when winds of up to 280km/h barreled in from the Gulf.

When the levees broke, 80 per cent of the city was submerged, leaving survivors in New Orleans stranded on rooftops or sheltering in makeshift refuges with few supplies.

The sheer violence "the storm" - as it is still known locally - and the federal government's initial slow response meant the surge also became a high watermark for criticism of George W. Bush's administration.

Obama will try to stress the city's rebirth and "what's possible when citizens, city and corporate leaders all work together to lift up their communities and build back", the White House said.