Poll: Most Americans believe New Orleans will never recover
Still, 63 percent of respondents say city should rebuild
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(CNN) -- A majority of Americans believe the city of New Orleans will never completely recover from the effects of Hurricane Katrina and the resulting flooding, according to results of a CNN/USA Today/Gallup poll released Tuesday.
Fifty-six percent of 609 adults polled by telephone September 5-6 said they believe the hurricane devastated the city beyond repair. And 93 percent of poll respondents said they believe Katrina is the worst natural disaster to strike the United States in their lifetime.
But a majority of respondents -- 63 percent -- said they believe the city should rebuild. And 66 percent said they believe all New Orleans residents should evacuate the city.
Opinions varied widely, however, on the response of federal, state and local officials regarding Katrina. Forty-two percent of respondents characterized President Bush's response to the disaster as "bad" or "terrible," while 35 percent said it was "good" or "great."
Federal government agencies' response was described as "bad" or "terrible" by 42 percent, and "good" or "great" by 35 percent. State and local officials' response was described as "bad" or "terrible" by 35 percent and "good" or "great" by 37 percent.
Respondents also disagreed widely on who is to blame for the problems in the city following the hurricane -- 13 percent said Bush, 18 percent said federal agencies, 25 percent blamed state or local officials and 38 percent said no one is to blame. And 63 percent said they do not believe anyone at federal agencies responsible for handling emergencies should be fired as a result.
In recent days, 62 percent said they believe progress made in dealing with the situation is satisfactory.
However, a resounding 79 percent said they believe gas companies are taking advantage of the situation and charging unfair prices to consumers as a result of the hurricane.
For poll results based on the total sample, one can say with 95 percent confidence that the margin of error is plus or minus 4 percentage points. For results based on the 268 respondents who say the city of New Orleans will completely recover from the effects of Katrina, the maximum margin of sampling error is plus or minus 6 percentage points.
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