NEW ORLEANS --
Conditions in New Orleans continued to worsen on Aug. 31 as water
poured from the breach in the levee at the 17th Street Canal
forcing authorities to call for an evacuation of everyone who
remained in the city. (See related
story,FEMA taps Greyhound to help evacuate
All normal activities
in the city have been put on hold, giving way to basic survival
efforts. Mayor Ray Nagin estimated the city will not be functional
for eight to 12 weeks.
Mayor Ray Nagin
announced Aug. 30 that the breach in the levee at the 17th Street
Canal widened and efforts to repair it had failed. In addition, he
said the available pumps were not sufficient to push back the
An additional nine to
15 feet of water was expected to flow into the city on Aug. 31, on
top of several feet of water already present in what officials are
saying is an 80%-submerged city.
The U.S. Coast Guard
continued search-and-rescue operations, flying helicopter patrols
over New Orleans looking for survivors. Many were saved against
great odds, but Mayor Nagin said the number of people killed by the
disaster was probably in the thousands.
The Federal Emergency
Management Agency (FEMA) urged residents of affected areas of
Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama who evacuated not to return to
their homes citing catastrophic devastation.
to return might face blocked and washed out roads, downed power
lines and unsafe road crossings, FEMA said. Hundreds of thousands
remain without power in the affected areas.
reporter David Cogswell, send e-mail to [email protected].