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Obama to Travel to New Orleans for Hurricane Katrina Anniversary

Hurricane Katrina
Residents are rescued from the floodwaters of Hurricane Katrina, in this Sept. 1, 2005 file photo, in New Orleans. AP

President Obama is traveling to New Orleans on Sunday, Aug. 29 to mark the fifth anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, the White House announced today.

While there, the president will deliver remarks at Xavier University of Louisiana. Members of the president's cabinet who have worked on recovery and restoration efforts in the Gulf region will also be in New Orleans to mark the anniversary.

In 2005, Hurricane Katrina devastated the Gulf Coast, leaving about 1,600 people dead. President George W. Bush was criticized at the time for not responding quickly enough to the disaster.

Five years later, the Gulf region is once again reeling in the wake of an enormous catastrophe -- this time the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. Some have called the oil spill "Obama's Katrina," but the White House has dismissed such comparisons.

The president is also traveling to Florida tomorrow on a family trip intended to show solidarity with the region.

BP and government workers are still in the process of permanently plugging the leaking well. White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said today, "a successful relief well would end this phase of, but would not end our commitment to this region."

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