Another Wind Whammy For New Orleans

Roy Beard looks at his front yard in New Orleans Thursday morning Feb. 2, 2006. Beard's home is across the street from the home that collapsed in the background from high winds that struck the are heavily damaged by Hurricane Katrina. The storm came through in the early morning hours causing damage in many area that were hard hit by Hurricane Katrina. Beards' home had some additional damage but not as extensive as the home in the background.
Tornadoes early Thursday tore through New Orleans neighborhoods that were hit hard by Hurricane Katrina just five months earlier, collapsing at least one previously damaged house and battering the airport, authorities said.

Roofs were ripped off and utility poles came down, but no serious injuries were reported.

Meanwhile, government officials laid out the beginnings of an ambitious plan to restore the Gulf Coast's natural resources and improve the Gulf of Mexico's health to an audience of about 100 in Biloxi on Wednesday.

They also took recommendations from the audience for problems that need to be addressed by the five states, 13 federal agency partners and stakeholders that compose the Gulf of Mexico Alliance.

And a congressional report criticizes the slow federal response to Hurricane Katrina. Mayor Ray Nagin told CBS News' The Early Show's Harry Smith that residents of New Orleans are left struggling with insurance headaches and rebuilding costs — if they've decided to return at all.

"There are lots of complicated issues as far as this recovery is concerned," Nagin said. "But the big problem is that local government does not have any funding since our revenue streams are gone."

Read the GAO Report (.pdf)

He and other residents say they were "very disappointed" by the scant mention of rebuilding the Gulf Coast in President Bush's State of the Union speech.

"We thought that the president would come out and reaffirm his commitment to rebuild in the Gulf Coast, which is a very important portion of the country," Nagin told Smith.

After the tornadoes, Marcia Paul Leoni, a mortgage banker who was surveying the new damage to her Katrina-flooded home, said: "Don't ever ask the question, 'What else could happen?"'

She would go no farther than the front porch of her house Thursday morning. Windows were blown out, and the building appeared to be leaning.

"I've been in the mortgage business for 20 years. I know when something's unsafe," she said.

Electricity was knocked out at Louis Armstrong International Airport, grounding passenger flights and leaving travelers to wait in a dimly lit terminal powered by generators. The storm also ripped off part of a concourse roof, slammed one jetway into another, and flipped motorized runway luggage carts.

In related developments:

  • The White House is expected to ask Congress for about $18 billion in new funds for the hurricane-battered Gulf Coast, a Senate Republican aide said.
  • New York City officials struck a deal that will allow thousands of pieces of knockoff designer clothing seized from apparel counterfeiters to be donated to the victims of Hurricane Katrina. Knockoffs of items by Rocawear, Phat Farm and Nike are among the millions of dollars of counterfeit goods that Mayor Mike Bloomberg said would be shipped to hurricane survivors.
  • Two of Hurricane Katrina's unknown Mississippi victims were memorialized today with prayers that some day their loved ones would learn of their final resting place. About two dozen people attended the brief graveside service, many stopping to place red and white flowers on the caskets. Nobody came forward to claim the bodies, which were found in different places about a week after the August 29th hurricane.