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1000's feared dead in New Orleans

Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by N8 v2.0, Aug 31, 2005.

  1. N8 v2.0

    N8 v2.0 Not the sharpest tool in the shed

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    Mayor: Katrina May Have Killed Thousands
    Aug 31 3:03 PM US/Eastern
    By BRETT MARTEL
    Associated Press Writer


    NEW ORLEANS - The mayor said Wednesday that Hurricane Katrina probably killed thousands of people in New Orleans.

    "We know there is a significant number of dead bodies in the water," and other people dead in attics, Mayor Ray Nagin said. Asked how many, he said: "Minimum, hundreds. Most likely, thousands."

    The frightening estimate came as Army engineers struggled to plug New Orleans' breached levees with giant sandbags and concrete barriers, while authorities drew up plans to clear out the tens of thousands of people left in New Orleans and all but abandon the flooded-out city.

    There will be a "total evacuation of the city. We have to. The city will not be functional for two or three months," Nagin said.

    Most of those refugees _ 15,000 to 20,000 people _ were in the Superdome, which had become hot and stuffy, with broken toilets and nowhere for anyone to bathe. "It can no longer operate as a shelter of last resort," the mayor said.

    Nagin estimated 50,000 to 100,000 people remained in New Orleans. He said 14,000 to 15,000 a day could be evacuated.

    The Pentagon, meanwhile, began mounting one of the largest search-and- rescue operations in U.S. history, sending four Navy ships to the Gulf Coast with drinking water and other emergency supplies, along with the hospital ship USNS Comfort, search helicopters and elite SEAL water- rescue teams. American Red Cross workers from across the country converged on the devastated region in the agency's biggest-ever relief operation.

    The death toll from Hurricane Katrina has reached at least 110 in Mississippi alone. But Louisiana has put aside the counting of the dead to concentrate on rescuing the living, many of whom were still trapped on rooftops and in attics.

    A full day after the Big Easy thought it had escaped Katrina's full fury, two levees broke and spilled water into the streets Tuesday, swamping an estimated 80 percent of the bowl-shaped, below-sea-level city, inundating miles and miles of homes and rendering much of New Orleans uninhabitable for weeks or months.

    "We are looking at 12 to 16 weeks before people can come in," Nagin said on ABC's "Good Morning America, "and the other issue that's concerning me is we have dead bodies in the water. At some point in time the dead bodies are going to start to create a serious disease issue."

    With the streets awash and looters brazenly cleaning out stores, authorities planned to move at least 25,000 of the New Orlean's storm refugees to the Houston Astrodome, 350 miles away, over two days in a vast convoy of some 475 buses.

    Gov. Kathleen Blanco said the situation was desperate and there was no choice but to clear out.

    "The logistical problems are impossible and we have to evacuate people in shelters," the governor said. "It's becoming untenable. There's no power. It's getting more difficult to get food and water supplies in, just basic essentials."

    Around midday, officials with the state and the Army Corps of Engineers said the water levels between the city and Lake Pontchartrain had equalized, and water had stopped rising in New Orleans, and even appeared to be falling, at least in some places. But the danger was far from over.

    The Army Corps of Engineers said it planned to use heavy-duty Chinook helicopters to drop 20,000-pound sandbags Wednesday into the 500-foot gap in the failed floodwall. But the agency said it was having trouble getting the sandbags and dozens of 15-foot highway barriers to the site because the city's waterways were blocked by loose barges, boats and large debris.

    Officials said they were also looking at a more audacious plan: finding a barge to plug the 500-foot hole.

    "The challenge is an engineering nightmare," the governor said on ABC's "Good Morning America."

    As New Orleans descended deeper into chaos, hundreds of people wandered aimlessly up and down Interstate 10, pushing shopping carts, laundry racks, anything they could find to carry their belongings. Dozens of fishermen from up to 200 miles away floated in on caravans of boats to pull residents out of flooded neighborhoods.

    On some of the few roads that were still passable, people waved at passing cars with empty water jugs, begging for relief. Hundreds of people appeared to have spent the night on a crippled highway.

    In one east New orleans neighborhood, refugees were being loaded onto the backs of moving vans like cattle, and in one case emergency workers with a sledgehammer and an ax broke open the back of a mail truck and used it to ferry sick and elderly residents.

    Police officers were asking residents to give up any guns they had before they boarded buses and trucks because police desperately needed the firepower: Some officers who had been stranded on the roof of a motel said they were being shot at overnight.
     

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  2. TreeSaw

    TreeSaw Mama Monkey

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    This storm has turned out to be truly devistating!!! :(
     
  3. N8 v2.0

    N8 v2.0 Not the sharpest tool in the shed

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    Officials Helpless Against Looters
    Associated Press | KEVIN McGILL

    NEW ORLEANS - With law officers and National Guardsmen focused on saving lives, looters around the city spent another day brazenly ransacking stores for food, clothing, appliances — and guns.

    Thieves commandeered a forklift and used it to push up the storm shutters and break the glass of a pharmacy. The crowd stormed the store, carrying out so much ice, water and food that it dropped from their arms as they ran. The street was littered with packages of ramen noodles and other items.

    Looters also chased down a state police truck full of food. The New Orleans police chief ran off looters while city officials themselves were commandeering equipment from a looted Office Depot. During a state of emergency, authorities have broad powers to take private supplies and buildings for their use.

    Officials tried to balance security needs with saving lives.

    "We're multitasking right now," said New Orleans Police Capt. Marlon Defillo. "Rescue, recovery, stabilization of looting, we're trying to feed the hungry."

    Gov. Kathleen Blanco said she has asked the White House to send more people to help with evacuations and rescues, thereby freeing up National Guardsmen to stop looters.

    "We need to free up the National Guard to do security in the city," Blanco said.

    New Orleans' homeland security chief, Terry Ebbert, said looters were breaking into stores all over town and stealing guns. He said there are gangs of armed men moving around the city. At one point, officers stranded on the roof of a hotel were fired at by criminals on the street.

    The Times-Picayune newspaper reported that the gun section at a new Wal-Mart had been cleaned out by looters.

    Authorities said an officer was shot in the head and a looter was wounded in a shootout. The officer was expected to survive.

    Authorities planned to send more than 70 additional officers and an armed personnel carrier into the city.

    In the meantime, city authorities were putting a higher priority on rescuing victims and repairing a levee breach that was spilling water into the streets.

    "One of our fears is if we don't stop the breach, that we will put good people's lives in jeopardy," the governor said. "We are concerned about essentials. We are asking for more military presence in the city to control the situation better.

    On New Orleans' Canal Street, dozens of looters ripped open the steel gates on clothing and jewelry stores and grabbed merchandise. In Biloxi, Miss., people picked through casino slot machines for coins and ransacked other businesses. In some cases, the looting was in full view of police and National Guardsmen.

    The historic French Quarter appeared to have been spared the worst flooding, but its stores were getting the worst of human nature.

    "The looting is out of control. The French Quarter has been attacked," Councilwoman Jackie Clarkson said. "We're using exhausted, scarce police to control looting when they should be used for search and rescue while we still have people on rooftops."

    Sen. Mary Landrieu's helicopter was taking off Tuesday for a flyover of the devastation and she watched as a group of people smashed a window at a gas-station convenience store and jumped in.

    At a drug store in the French Quarter, people were running out with grocery baskets and coolers full of soft drinks, chips and diapers. Other looters were seen leaving a store with armfuls of tennis shoes and football jerseys.
     
  4. Leethal

    Leethal Turbo Monkey

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    I say let them loot!!! I mean if there is not running water in the city and people are stealing POP, jeez what do you think they are resellling it on the blackmarket? They need to focus on evacuation, safety, and restoring the levies...The insurance cost is already going to be billions the looting is a mere drop in the bucket...