In 2003 Democrats regained the governor’s office with the runoff election of lieutenant governor Kathleen Blanco, the first woman to be elected governor of Louisiana. Foster was unable to run because of a Louisiana constitutional provision that prohibits more than two consecutive terms. Blanco’s election ended a string of Republican victories in the South in 2003, which included winning the statehouses in Kentucky and Mississippi. In August 2005 Hurricane Katrina struck the Gulf Coast of Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama, resulting in the costliest natural disaster in U.S. history. Plaquemines Parish, a narrow strip of delta southeast of New Orleans, bore the brunt of the storm in Louisiana. The hurricane’s Category 3 winds and storm surge nearly obliterated fishing and oil towns in the parish. The hurricane then turned east toward Mississippi, narrowly sparing New Orleans its full force. However, the city was subsequently flooded as its levees failed to withstand the storm surge.
The entire city had to be evacuated. Tens of thousands of inner-city residents, mostly black and poor, were stranded for nearly a week before being relocated. President George W. Bush ordered an investigation into rescue and emergency response efforts. Many state and local officials blamed the delayed response on the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
Louisiana elected the first Indian-American governor in the South in its gubernatorial election in October 2007. Bobby Jindal, a Republican, became the first nonwhite to occupy the governor’s mansion since the Reconstruction era. He was born in Baton Rouge and is the son of immigrants from India. Jindal had been the Republican nominee for governor in 2003, but lost that election to Blanco. In 2004 he was elected to Congress, representing Louisiana’s first congressional district. "Louisiana" © Emmanuel BUCHOT, Encarta, Wikipedia
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