Population displacements and migration patterns in response to Hurricane Katrina

Authored by: Elizabeth Fussell

Routledge Handbook of Environmental Displacement and Migration

Print publication date:  March  2018
Online publication date:  March  2018

Print ISBN: 9781138194465
eBook ISBN: 9781315638843
Adobe ISBN:


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Hurricane Katrina created a catastrophe in the city of New Orleans when the storm surge caused the levee system to fail on August 29, 2005. The destruction of housing displaced hundreds of thousands of residents for varying lengths of time, often permanently. It also revealed gaps in our knowledge of how population is recovered after a disaster causes widespread destruction of urban infrastructure, housing, and workplaces, and how mechanisms driving housing recovery often produce unequal social, spatial, and temporal population recovery. In this article, I assemble social, spatial, and temporal explanatory frameworks for housing and population recovery and then review research on mobility – both evacuation and migration – after Hurricane Katrina. The review reveals a need for a comprehensive social, spatial, and temporal framework for explaining inequality in population recovery and displacement. It also shows how little is known about in-migrants and permanent out-migrants after a disaster.

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