Thursday, September 01, 2005

Updates on New Orleans

2:48 P.M. - Gov. Blanco: "Thousands" are believed to be dead. And between 200 and 300,000 people still need to be evacuated from the city. 2,400 people are still waiting to be evacuated from the Superdome.

One official said the Army Corps of Engineers are currently driving pilings, dumping sand, into the breaches in the levee. Concrete barriers will go up after the sand is laid down. They will assess the pumps, and it could take as long as one month before the water is completely drained from the city. The Army Corps is being escorted to the levees by State Police.

Blanco said 12,000 National Guard troops from various regions in the nation are being deployed to the area, bringing the total number of troops to 40,000. The Governor added that looters will be dealt with. Blanco said Baton Rouge has its own concerns with refugees, who have reportedly been causing similar trouble in the state capital.

Hospital evacuations are going well. Chalmette and Tulane Hospitals are emptied.

No casualty list reported yet.

3:06 P.M. - (AP): Fights and fires broke out, corpses lay out in the open, and rescue helicopters and law enforcement officers were shot at as flooded-out New Orleans descended into anarchy Thursday. "This is a desperate SOS," the mayor said.

Anger mounted across the ruined city, with thousands of storm victims increasingly hungry, desperate and tired of waiting for buses to take them out.

"We are out here like pure animals. We don't have help," the Rev. Issac Clark, 68, said outside the New Orleans Convention Center, where corpses lay in the open and the and other evacuees complained that they were dropped off and given nothing -- no food, no water, no medicine.

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