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An American History of Disaster and Response

Hurricane Katrina cut a wide swath of destruction across the Gulf Coast. The storm affected some 90,000 square miles in the region, displacing hundreds of thousands of people and leaving much of New Orleans under water. The reconstruction process is expected to take several years and at least $200 billion, making Katrina the costliest natural disaster in recent U.S. history.

But U.S. cities have risen from the rubble many times before. Their experiences may prove instructive as the Gulf Coast looks to rebuild.

From the Chicago fire of 1871 to Hurricane Andrew in 1992, here are eight events that challenged American cities and regions to rebuild in the wake of disaster.

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