Flood defenses improved
Though Isaac is far less powerful than Hurricane Katrina, the system was on an eerily similar path, raising familiar fears and old anxieties in a city still recovering. If Isaac comes ashore near New Orleans, it will find a different city than the one blasted by Katrina. This New Orleans has a bigger, better levee system and other improvements designed to endure all but the most destructive storms. The Army Corps of Engineers was given about $14 billion to improve flood defenses, and most of the work has been completed. Experts say the city can handle a storm comparable to a Category 3 hurricane.
How has the city changed?
Hurricane Katrina slammed into New Orleans on Aug. 29, 2005, bringing death, destruction and despair. Entire neighborhoods were wiped out, about 80 percent of the city was under water and 1,800 people were killed. In the seven years since, the city has rebuilt many areas, yet the landscape has been forever altered Here's a look at the city before and after Katrina, which hit in 2005:
What is the city's population?
Before: about 484,000
After: about 360,400
How has the racial makeup changed?
Before: 67 percent of the population was African-American.
After: about 60 percent African-American.
Before: Whites made up 28 percent.
After: About 33 percent of the population is white.
Is the city safer?
New Orleans' crime rate is stubbornly high and remains nearly twice the national rate, the same as it ranked in 2000.
Are people still living in FEMA trailers?
As of July, no one lives in a FEMA trailer. A year after Katrina, more than 70,000 Louisiana families lived in trailers.