The state of Mississippi is clearly the gatekeeper for the mighty Mississippi river. This river is an economic necessity to the vitality of the United States and indeed to the state of Mississippi itself. The river is used as a transportation conduit that sends millions of tons of products up the river every year. Hurricane Katrina temporarily impaired the ability of people to use the Mississippi for transportation services and thus severely impaired the local and national economy.
The economic impact of the hurricane was such that it caused a large hike in the energy prices of the nation. Since no less than twenty-five percent of the petroleum comes from the states on the Gulf Coast, the impact on the national economy was severe. The nation struggled to stabilize the supply and prices. But the impact on the local economy has been much larger as the petroleum business constitutes nearly eighty percent of the total mineral production in Mississippi. The destruction to the offshore fishing industry in Mississippi was also devastating to the state but it did not have anywhere near the impact as the loss of the refining facilities. Biloxi is a major hub for the shrimp industry and it was virtually wiped out by Katrina. But no matter how terrible the destruction of Hurricane Katrina was, the state will not only survive, it will eventually thrive. The money being used to rebuild the Gulf Coast states like Mississippi that were damaged by the hurricane will ultimately create a stronger state with an even brighter economic future.