WASHINGTON - US President Barack Obama will next week travel to New Orleans to mark the 10th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, a storm which savaged the city and punctured Americans' confidence in government.

Obama will on Thursday meet "Big Easy" residents and Mayor Mitch Landrieu and deliver a speech on the "region's rebirth," the White House announced Wednesday. More than 1,800 people were killed, and one million others displaced when winds of up to 175 miles (280 kilometers) barreled in from the Gulf. When the levees broke, 80 percent of the city was submerged, leaving survivors in New Orleans stranded on rooftops or sheltering in makeshift refuges with few supplies. The sheer violence "the storm" -- as it is still known locally -- and the federal government's initial slow response meant the surge also became a high watermark for criticism of George W. Bush's administration. Obama will try to stress the city's rebirth and "what's possible when citizens, city and corporate leaders all work together to lift up their communities and build back," the White House said.