CNN.com - New Orleans shelters to be evacuated - Aug 30, 2005

New Orleans shelters to be evacuated
Floodwaters rising, devastation widespread in Katrina's wake

Tuesday, August 30, 2005; Posted: 10:51 p.m. EDT (02:51 GMT)

NEW ORLEANS, Louisiana (CNN) -- New Orleans resembled a war zone more than a modern American metropolis on Tuesday, as Gulf Coast communities struggled to deal with the devastating aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.

Deteriorating conditions in New Orleans will force authorities to evacuate the tens of thousands of people at city shelters, including the Superdome, where a policeman told CNN unrest was escalating.

The officer expressed concern that the situation could worsen overnight after three shootings, looting and a number of attempted carjackings during the afternoon.

Officials could not yet provide accurate estimates for fatalities or time needed for recovery in the area and are focusing, instead, on widespread search-and-rescue operations.

The death toll from the storm so far is estimated at 70 -- mostly in Mississippi. Officials stressed that the number is uncertain and likely to be much higher. (See aerial video of the aftermath -- 3:02)

"A lot of people lost their lives, and we still don't have any idea [how many], because the focus continues to be on rescuing those who have survived," Louisiana Gov. Kathleen Blanco told reporters Tuesday.

Elsewhere along the Gulf Coast, authorities used boats and helicopters to reach stranded residents and search for survivors.

The storm ripped ashore in Louisiana on Monday morning with winds topping 140 mph before scourging Mississippi and Alabama.

The U.S. Coast Guard said its crews assisted in the rescue Monday of about 1,200 people stranded by high water in the New Orleans area, and thousands more were rescued Tuesday morning.
Waters rising in New Orleans

Water continued to rise in downtown New Orleans, reaching 12 feet in some places Tuesday afternoon.

The city had no power, no drinking water, dwindling food supplies, widespread looting, smoke rising on the horizon and the sounds of gunfire. At least one large building was ablaze Tuesday. (Full story)

Frustration was also rising among people who now find themselves refugees in their own city.

As many as 30,000 people were being housed in the Louisiana Superdome, where toilets were overflowing and there was no air conditioning to provide relief from 90-degree heat.

CNN.com - New Orleans shelters to be evacuated - Aug 30, 2005


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