Most of America believes, just as many of the locals do, that New Orleans is not back to normal or
never will be. Yet, over 60% of 775 people from every state but Louisiana also mistakenly think the
water supply is contaminated. And one-third also believe parts of the city are still underwater.
The University of New Orleans recently released results of an online survey conducted November
29-December 4, 2007, which provided a picture of how America views post-Katrina New Orleans.
Most respondents in the poll gave a higher ranking to New Orleans as an adult-oriented
entertainment destination than as a place to do business or get quality education. And over 60%
wrongly believe the majority of the city's residents live in temporary housing.
As for government response, about half (48.5%) say the federal government is most to blame for
post-Katrina problems in the area, the probable reason over 55% said they would be willing to
continue providing the city with financial aid for recovery. The majority (51%) of respondents
believe the U.S. has spent too little on New Orleans recovery; also 44.9% feel that recovery
spending should be at least what has been spent on the war in Iraq.
Even more glaring is that more than 60% believe that the money spent by the government and
private charities combined has not been used well, hinting at corruption.
The survey also found 59% had never visited the city, and 54% of the 775 respondents said it's
unlikely they will visit within the next two years. Surprisingly, among frequent fliers half said it is
unlikely they would visit.
The survey was given a 3.6% margin of error. Dr Robert T. Sims, who directed the study,
suggested the media do their part in relaying the correct view of the city to the public, and said
another survey may be conducted next year.
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