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Katrina Disaster Blog

This is a running list compiled by staffers of the latest developments in the Hurricane Katrina disaster.

Sept. 13, 2005

2:20 p.m.
NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Despite concerns about germs and other risks from filthy New Orleans floodwaters, public health officials aren't seeing many cases of disease. Instead, they're seeing injuries: more than 148 cases in just the past two days. Workers report these include chainsaw wounds and carbon monoxide poisoning related to the use of generators.

1:23 p.m.
(CBS) — Even in areas where tons of debris line the cleared streets where rarely a house is left, landlords in Mississippi are being told that they can't evict tenants in order to rent to someone else — most likely a hurricane evacuee — for more money. With tens of thousands of people having no place left to live, county judges are trying to make sure renters are not pushed out, CBS News correspondent Lee Frank reports.

1:15 p.m.
NEW ORLEANS (AP) — The head of the Port of New Orleans says today offers "a historical moment." He says a freighter loaded with coffee and wood products from South and Central America arrives today. Port President Gary LaGrange says two weeks ago, officials thought hurricane damage would keep the port down for six months.

12:30 p.m.
(CBS/AP) — President Bush on Tuesday took "full responsibility" for government failures in dealing with Hurricane Katrina and said the disaster raised broader questions about the government's ability to respond to natural disasters as well as terror attacks.

"Katrina exposed serious problems in our response capability at all levels of government," Mr. Bush said at joint White House news conference that otherwise focused on the conditions he and Iraqi President Jalal Talabani see as necessary for a withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq.

10:25 a.m.

(CBS/AP) — More than 75,000 evacuees from Gulf Coast states affected by Hurricane Katrina are being sheltered by the Red Cross.
Other up-to-date statistics:

  • Survivors of the hurricane have been served more than 7.6 million hot meals and more than 6.6 million snacks
  • The Red Cross is expanding its efforts to provide financial assistance to about 750,000 survivors across the nation.
  • 71,100 unified federal personnel have been deployed.
  • 22.5 million ready-to-eat meals have been distributed, according to the federal government
  • FEMA has deployed more than 87 National Disaster Medical System Teams and 28 urban search and rescue teams
  • The EPA estimates the number of water systems affected by the hurricane is now 73 in Alabama , 555 in Mississippi and 469 in Louisiana

    10:19 a.m.
    WASHINGTON (AP) — Acting FEMA Director David Paulison says emergency workers are going "to move on." The man picked by President Bush to replace Michael Brown says the federal emergency agency will devote all its resources to helping victims of Hurricane Katrina.

    8:22 a.m.
    (CBS) — After weeks of bipartisan criticism of the federal storm response culminating in the resignation of FEMA Director Michael Brown, swift changes are underway. And New FEMA Director David Paulson and his boss, Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff, are expected to outline new relief efforts at a press conference Tuesday morning, CBS News correspondent Peter Maer reports.

    8:14 a.m.
    BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — A coroner says autopsies will be done on more than 40 bodies found in a flooded New Orleans hospital. Doctor Frank Minyard of Orleans Parish says it isn't clear yet how the patients died. Other officials have said some were dead before Katrina arrived but high temperatures after the storm could have led to other deaths.

    7:17 a.m.
    (AP) — FEMA says it expects to provide temporary housing for some 200,000 hurricane victims for up to five years, most of them in Louisiana. It plans to use trailer homes to create "temporary cities," some with populations up to 25,000.

    6:30 a.m.
    NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Running water has been restored to some homes in New Orleans, but it's mostly untreated. A National Guard engineer says taking a bath right now is like jumping into the Mississippi River. He expects it will be at least three months before the city's water system is fully operational.

    The news is worse in nearby St. Bernard Parish, whose 66,000 residents are being told that no one should expect to live there again before next summer. FEMA expects to house thousands of hurricane survivors in "temporary cities" made up of trailer homes. Most would be in Louisiana.

    6:15 a.m.
    CAPITOL HILL (AP) — The Senate is expected to vote this week on a bill to allow hurricane victims tap into their retirement accounts without penalty. It would also encourage people to donate things like cash, food and schoolbooks. In the House, a tax relief bill under consideration also includes help for businesses affected by Katrina, as well as state and local governments trying to fix damaged property.

    6:10 a.m.
    KENNER, La. (AP) — New Orleans' Louis Armstrong International Airport marks a significant milestone today.

    A limited number of passenger flights will resume — four in all. An airport spokesman says it's a symbolic move but practical too, since it's the largest airport in the state. Mario Rodriguez says it's not a formal reopening, since the airport never closed to emergency flights following Hurricane Katrina. Terminals are being evaluated for damage and repairs have begun, especially on two terminals that suffered significant storm damage.

    6:00 a.m.
    WASHINGTON (AP) — A team of 30 Homeland Security Department investigators is being sent to the Hurricane Katrina-ravaged Gulf Coast to ensure that federal funds are properly distributed in the rescue, relief and rebuilding process which is expected to exceed $100 billion.

    Some contracts, including five with emergency housing and construction companies, were awarded hurriedly without undergoing competitive bidding processes. In addition, the Bush administration has waived prevailing wage requirements that ensure government-contracted workers in disaster areas are fairly compensated.

    Among the most controversial Katrina contracts is $16.6 million to Kellogg, Brown & Root — a subsidiary of Halliburton, the company formerly headed up by Dick Cheney.

    Read previous Katrina Disaster Blogs:
    Sept. 12, Sept. 11, Sept. 10, Sept. 9,Sept. 8, Sept. 7, Sept. 6, Sept. 5, Sept. 4, Sept. 3, Sept. 2, Sept. 1, Aug. 31

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