New Orleans Mayor: ‘Thousands’ Probably Dead in City

By: E&P Staff

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 others dead in attics, Mayor Ray Nagin said. Asked how many, he said: “Minimum, hundreds. Most likely, thousands.”

Meanwhile, the Times-Picayune reported that looting continues unabated, based on reports “throughout New Orleans.” Citing ust one example: “At an empty lot on Elysian Fields, people are driving in used cars, removing the stickers and selling them themselves.”

Rumors have spread of hundreds of bodies floating in the water flooding the Lower 9th Ward. But several people captaining rescue boats say they?ve only seen one or two bodies in the water.

The mayor’s frightening prediction came as Army engineers struggled to plug New Orleans’ breached levees with giant sandbags and concrete barriers, while authorities drew up plans to move some 25,000 storm refugees out of the city to Houston in a huge bus convoy and all but abandon flooded-out New Orleans.

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.”

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