Perhaps best known as the city that gave birth to Jazz and of the location of Mardi Gras, it was also in the news in August 2005 when Hurricane Katrina caused numerous failures in its levee defence system that caused widespread devastation.According to the report from the American Society of Civil Engineers, "THE NEW ORLEANS HURRICANE PROTECTION SYSTEM: What Went Wrong and Why, A Report by the American Society of Civil Engineers Hurricane Katrina External Review Panel":
As of August 2, 2006, 1,118 people were confirmed dead in Louisiana as a result of Hurricane Katrina. Another 135 people are still missing and presumed dead. Thousands of homes were destroyed. Direct damage to residential and non-residential property is estimated at $21 billion, damage to public infrastructure another $6.7 billion. Nearly half the region’s population has not yet returned after evacuating. Nearly 124 thousand jobs were lost, and the region’s economy was crippled.