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Katrina Disaster Blog Sept. 3

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

Sept. 3, 2005

10:05 p.m.
Watch complete coverage of Hurricane Katrina from the CBS Evening News:

9:55 p.m.
HOUSTON (AP) The governor of Texas worries that his state may not be able to take many more evacuees from Hurricane Katrina. Governor Rick Perry says Texas is committed to doing everything it can to help, but wants to be sure it can provide the services needed, including medical care and education.

Perry says local officials "are beginning to notify us that they are quickly approaching capacity." Louisiana and the Federal Emergency Management Agency have been alerted. Texas has taken in over 220,000 evacuees, with more on the way.

9:05 p.m.
NEW ORLEANS (AP) The last 300 refugees in the Louisiana Superdome have climbed aboard buses bound for new temporary shelter. They leave behind a darkened and stinking arena strewn with trash.

The sight of the last person -- an elderly man wearing a Houston Rockets cap -- prompted cheers from members of the Texas National Guard who were guarding the facility. Inside and outside the Superdome: A sea of trash up to five feet deep.

7:55 p.m.
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Department of Homeland Security's Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has deployed all 28 of its National Urban Search and Rescue teams - 7 to Louisiana and 11 to Mississippi - to assist in rescue efforts in heavily impacted areas. The remaining 10 have been activated and deployed to staging areas in Dallas and Houston, Texas.

6:00 p.m.
NEW ORLEANS (AP) Several fires in New Orleans are adding to the devastation in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. Fire broke out today in the Saks Fifth Avenue store in the Canal Place shopping center downtown, and firefighters had to bring in tanker trucks of water to keep it under control.

Officials say the blaze was contained after several hours. The cause isn't known.

5:00 p.m.
The Governor of Louisiana has established a foundation to focus on long-term recovery, to collect and distribute donations to private and public entities for disaster relief for losses and/or damages brought on as a result of Hurricane Katrina.

The special fund can be reached on the Internet at

Send contributions to:

Louisiana Disaster Recovery Foundation
c/o Division of Administration
1201 North Third Street, Suite 7-240
P.O. Box 94095
Baton Rouge, LA 70804-9095

4:40 p.m.
NEW ORLEANS (AP) Evacuees continue to board buses at the New Orleans Convention Center, with many people filing past corpses to make their escape. Conditions are crowded and many people have had to leave bags full of belongings at the side of the road because there's no room for them on the buses.

National Guardsmen are providing security at the center. They're confiscating knives and letter openers from people before they board. Meanwhile, helicopters are removing the sickest people -- many of whom are dehydrated and nearly passing out from exhaustion.

3:30 p.m.
TUPELO, Miss. (AP) Bestselling writer John Grisham and his wife will contribute $5 million to a relief fund they established this week at a Tupelo bank to help Mississippians rebuild after Hurricane Katrina.

"We don't normally publicize gifts. It's something we keep extremely private. But in these very, very rare circumstances -- this tragic time -- we hope the gift will get some attention and inspire other people to contribute money and help our fellow Mississippians on the Gulf Coast," said Grisham, who maintains a home in Oxford, Miss.

2:40 p.m.
NEW ORLEANS (AP) Another desperate situation is unfolding in New Orleans -- this time, at the city's international airport. At a medical triage center there, many are dying because of a lack of medical care.

Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist -- a surgeon who visited the airport today -- says, "The hallways are filled, the floors are filled." He says, "A lot more than eight to ten people are dying a day."

2:30 p.m.
(AP) Animal welfare groups are scrambling to rescue pets left behind by hurricane victims and evacuees. The International Fund for Animal Welfare says at least 300 dogs have been taken from New Orleans to Houston, where they're being cared for by the SPCA. And hundreds more may be arriving soon.

The group says many of the dogs were smuggled into shelters and evacuation buses by people fleeing New Orleans. It's working with the SPCA to set up temporary animal shelters.

11:30 a.m.
President Bush said another 7,000 active-duty military personnel are on their way to the Gulf Coast to join the 4,000 already there.

In his Saturday morning radio broadcast, Bush said the troops will restore and maintain law and order and assist in evacuation efforts.

9:00 a.m.
At least 2,000 hurricane victims remain stuck in the New Orleans Superdome. The evacuation of the displaced came to a halt early this morning when buses taking people away simply stopped coming.

(AP) Meanwhile, others are settling into the relative calm of the Astrodome, which has become a massive shelter. Busloads of evacuees are getting cleaned up and fed and given other necessities from water to disposable diapers.

6:45 a.m.
NEW YORK (AP) During "A Concert for Hurricane Relief" airing on NBC and other networks, rapper Kanye West blasted President Bush for the slow start to the recovery effort. West alleged, in his words, "George Bush doesn't care about black people."

5:30 a.m.
DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) The U.S. Air Force said it is sending 300 airmen from Iraq and Afghanistan to deal with hurricane emergencies.

4:31 a.m.
MEXICO CITY (AP) Latin American nations are trying to locate citizens affected by Katrina, worried illegal immigrants may not seek help for fear of being deported.

Tens of thousands of Latin Americans, most from Mexico and Honduras, were living in the New Orleans area prior to the hurricane.

President Vicente Fox urged Mexicans to seek help from emergency officials during a televised address Friday in both Spanish and English.

3:25 a.m.
NEW ORLEANS (AP) National Guardsmen halted the evacuation of the Superdome early Saturday after buses transporting the refugees of Hurricane Katrina stopped rolling.

About 2,000 people remained in the stadium and could be there until Sunday, according to an estimate from the Texas Air National Guard.

2:06 a.m.
(AP) Two of New Orleans' most troubled hospitals were evacuated late Friday after desperate doctors spent days making tough choices about which patients got dwindling supplies of food, water and medicines.

Rescuers finally made it into Charity and University hospitals and evacuated all remaining patients and staff.

12:05 a.m.
(AP) Tulane University canceled its fall semester Friday because of Hurricane Katrina and encouraged its students to take classes through others schools while the New Orleans university tries to clean up from the flooding.

Sept. 2, 2005

11:15 p.m.
NEW ORLEANS (AP) Mr. Bush signed the $10.5 billion measure that brings disaster relief to the nation's ravaged Gulf Coast region. The president will also be discussing the recovery effort in his weekly radio address Saturday.

9:45 p.m.
OWINGS MILLS, Md. (AP) - Baltimore Ravens cornerback Deion Sanders challenged all professional athletes to donate at least $1,000 apiece through payroll deductions to benefit the victims of Hurricane Katrina.

Flanked by teammates and Louisiana natives Ed Reed and Alan Ricard, Sanders on Friday called for each team in the NFL, NBA and Major League Baseball, as well as other pro sports, to help him reach a goal of $1.5 million to $3 million for the cause.

8:15 p.m.
Watch complete coverage of Hurricane Katrina from the CBS Evening News:

7:40 p.m.
(AP) - More than 50 countries, including some, like Cuba and Venezuela, that have differences with Washington, have now pledged money or other assistance to help Americans recover from Hurricane Katrina.

6:57 p.m.
(AP) - Death tolls from Hurricane Katrina, reported by state officials, as of Friday afternoon. The numbers are expected to rise.

5:55 p.m.
OPELOUSAS, La. (AP) - Louisiana state police say one person is dead after a charter bus carrying evacuees overturned this afternoon in Opelousas.

5:30 p.m.

4:59 p.m.
(AP) - Americans are responding to Hurricane Katrina with a massive outpouring of giving, at times overwhelming call centers and computer servers set up by charities to field donations.

Total donations passed the $200 million mark today, four days after the storm slammed into the Gulf Coast. The bulk of those funds were collected by The American Red Cross, which said it has already raised $196.9 million from individuals and corporations.

4:53 p.m.
(CBS) - Military families needing assistance locating loved ones and finding support for their families should contact or call 1-800-342-9647.

4:40 p.m.
NEW ORLEANS (AP) — National Guardsmen using megaphones have told the thousands of refugees at the New Orleans Convention Center that they're about to be fed. For most, it will be the first substantial meal since Hurricane Katrina struck on Monday.

4:10 p.m.
NEW ORLEANS (AP) — President Bush walked through a Biloxi, Miss., neighborhood hit hard by Katrina, consoling two sobbing women along the way. He said the damage along the Gulf Coast is "worse than imaginable."

Bush also acknowledged criticism of the government's actions after the storm, saying he's satisfied with the response but not the results. He stood next to the governors of Mississippi and Alabama while saying the government has a responsibility to "clean up this mess." And he vowed to bring order back to New Orleans.

3:00 p.m.

2:15 p.m.
NEW ORLEANS (AP) — A huge oil spill was spotted near two storage tanks on the Mississippi River downstream from New Orleans, state officials said Friday. The oil was seen in a flyover to the Venice area by the Department of Environmental Quality. "Two tanks with the capacity of holding 2 million barrels appear to be leaking," the department said in a statement.

1:24 p.m.
(CBS) — President Bush has landed in Biloxi, Miss., and is meeting with people there to discuss conditions.

1:13 p.m.
PARIS (AP) — The governments of 26 countries agree to release 2 million barrels a day from strategic fuel reserves to cope Hurricane Katrina's aftermath, the International Energy Agency says.

1:05 p.m.
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Federal Emergency Management Agency is sending four mobile morgues to the area struck by Hurricane Katrina. One unit is working in Louisiana and the other three are en route or in staging areas, FEMA said Friday. The death toll in the storm remains uncertain but officials have said it could be hundreds or thousands.

12:55 p.m.
NEW ORLEANS (AP) — A convoy of amphibious vehicles carrying relief supplies is making its through the flooded streets of downtown New Orleans.

12:20 p.m.
(CBS) — The Biloxi (Miss.) Sun Herald is hosting an online message board for survivors of Hurricane Katrina to reach loved ones, find housing or post damage reports. In the past two days, more than 14,000 messages have been posted on the site.

12:01 p.m.
(CBS) — State Department officials say more than 40 countries and several international organizations have offered hurricane aid to the United States. Among those offering assistance are Venezuela and Cuba, both of which have major political differences with Washington, CBS News' Charlie Wolfson reports.

The list of those offering help includes: China, Russia, Australia, United Kingdom, Switzerland, Colombia, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Hungary, South Korea, Sri Lanka, New Zealand, Israel, Guatemala, Colombia, Paraguay, Philippines, Belgium, Singapore, Greece, United Arab Emirates, Italy, Guyana, Indonesia, Saudi Arabia, Austria, Lithuania, Spain, Dominica, Norway, Cuba, Bahamas, Germany, Netherlands, Mexico, Jamaica, Japan, and Venezuela.

12:00 p.m.

11:47 a.m.
(CBS) — First Lady Laura Bush is set to tour the Cajundome in Lafayette, La. She is expected to meet with people inside the stadium and convention center and make a brief statement.

11:44 a.m.
MOBILE, Ala. (AP) — President Bush promises to restore order in New Orleans and says the $10.5 billion in emergency funds being appropriated by Congress is a small down payment on recovery costs.

11:30 a.m.
(CBS) — From Air Force One, White House spokesman Scott McClellan said President Bush will tour the ground of hurricane-ravaged New Orleans, CBS News correspondent Mark Knoller reports.

UPDATE: Knoller also reports that Mr. Bush plans to meet with the mayor of New Orleans.

11:19 a.m.
(CBS) — In an emergency plan by the Department of Homeland Security, U.S. airlines are being mobilized to fly up to 25,000 refugees out of New Orleans, the New York Times reports. The first-time effort is set to begin today. The Times reports that the department's response plan taps 15 airlines to move the refugees from outside New Orleans to Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio.

11:08 a.m.
NEW ORLEANS (AP) — The National Guard says the cavalry is coming. Lt. Gen. Steven Blum says 7,000 Guardsmen are arriving in Louisiana today to "to save Louisiana citizens." He says the only thing they'll be attacking is "the effects of the hurricane," but adds they are prepared to "put down" the violence "in a quick and efficient manner."

11:00 a.m.

10:55 a.m.
ON HIGHWAY 90, La., (CBS) — On Highway 90 leading into New Orleans, CBS News Correspondent Cami McCormick saw convoys of vehicles pulling boats, National Guard trucks, yellow school buses and ambulances. "We have seen very few of those since this hurricane hit," McCormick said.

10:34 a.m.
WASHINGTON (AP) — Hundreds of thousands of people are finding themselves out of work and their livelihoods in limbo following the wrath of Hurricane Katrina. Experts believe it will take months before people get back to work in hurricane-ravaged areas. Some workers may not have jobs to return to and others may opt to move away and find work elsewhere, economists and other experts said.

10:11 a.m.
(CBS) — Dr. Walter Maestri of Jefferson Parish Emergency Operating Center tells CBS News regarding the early-morning New Orleans explosion: "Fifty-five gallon drums in a storage warehouse exploded. (They are) hazardous materials units. The smoke, however is not significantly toxic."

9:58 a.m.
(CBS) — Check out the disaster blog of our CBS affiliate WWL-TV in New Orleans.

9:40 a.m.

New Orleans mayor Ray Nagin tells CBS radio affiliate WWL-AM that he gave President Bush a piece of his mind.

Extended Interview With Nagin (WARNING: Includes profanity)

9:21 a.m.
(CBS) — Part of the struggle to both provide aid to hurricane victims and report on the needs of the hard-hit coastal areas is finding shelter for both responders and reporters, CBS News correspondent Mark Strassmann tells

"There are no vacant hotel rooms within 250 miles of Katrina's disaster zone," Strassmann said. "Many people in those packed hotels are storm refugees, their homes blown apart or washed away, with no other place to go. Those rooms will stay booked for weeks to come. If anything, the hotel crunch will only get worse as teams of emergency crews head into these ruined areas. It's going to be a real fight to see who has priority.

"For our CBS crew traveling Mississippi and Louisiana, that means a continuing taste of homelessness. We haven't had a hotel room since we left Baton Rouge on Tuesday morning. That was also the last time we had a shower."

9:11 a.m.
NEW ORLEANS (CBS) — CBS News correspondent John Roberts reports that as tempers flare among those stranded in New Orleans, some residents vow that once they board an evacuation bus, they won't come back.

"I am through with New Orleans," one resident said. "After this situation, I am through. Really, I am."

8:37 a.m.
(CBS) — Officials have said the coastline of Mississippi was ravaged by Hurricane Katrina, but CBS News correspondent Mark Strassmann tells that, well inland, the search for essentials is frantic.

Due to power outages stretching hundreds of miles, ice is a prized commodity. But nothing compares to the search for gas. In Louisiana and Mississippi, where there's no power, there's no open gas station. So in places like Jackson, Miss., where you start to find gas pumps that actually are working, there are incredibly long lines. People will wait four hours to fill up or top off.

8:16 a.m.
WASHINGTON (AP) — Congress rushed a $10.5 billion recovery bill to President Bush, who called the relief effort the biggest in U.S. history. The last time Congress came back from a vacation early, it made a failed effort to fight the removal of life support from Terry Schiavo, a brain-damaged woman in Florida.

8:00 a.m.
NEW ORLEANS (AP) — The mayor of New Orleans is seething over what he sees as the government's slow response to his city's disaster. Mayor Ray Nagin went on CBS radio affiliate WWL-AM last night to say the feds "don't have a clue what's going on." He added, "Excuse my French, everybody in America, but I am pissed."

New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin tells CBS radio affiliate WWL-AM that he gave President Bush a piece of his mind.

7:15 a.m.
NEW ORLEANS (AP) — The explosion that jolted New Orleans awake occurred in a chemical storage facility near the Mississippi River east of the French Quarter, according to Harbor Police. A series of smaller blasts followed the first explosion. At least two police boats are on the scene.

5:18 a.m.
NEWPORT, Wales (AP) — European Union members are making offers to provide oil to the United States from their strategic reserves, EU security affairs chief Javier Solana said Friday.

He said the offers are meant to offset shortages in the United States in the wake of Hurricane Katrina.

Speaking on Sky News, Solana said the U.S. administration has approached several EU member states individually. "The member states' offers and the request from the United States have been handled bilaterally, and not through the EU," said Cristina Gallach, Solana's spokeswoman.

4:35 a.m.
NEW ORLEANS (AP) — A series of explosions along the riverfront a few miles south of the French Quarter jolted residents awake. An initial explosion sent flames of red and orange shooting into the pre-dawn sky. A series of smaller blasts followed and then acrid, black smoke that could be seen even in the dark. The vibrations were felt all the way downtown.

The explosions appeared to originate close to the east bank of the Mississippi River, near a residential area and rail tracks. The cause of the blasts, and the extent of any damage, is not yet known.

12:26 a.m.
HOUSTON (AP) — After accepting 11,375 Hurricane Katrina refugees, officials pronounced the Astrodome full and began sending buses to other shelters, some as far away as Huntsville, about an hour north of Houston. "We've actually reached capacity for the safety and comfort of the people inside," says American Red Cross spokeswoman Dana Allen. "We're asking that people be patient. Ultimately they are going to be comfortable."

The number of flood victims inside the Astrodome is less than half the estimated 23,000 people who are expected to arrive in Houston by bus from New Orleans.

12:13 a.m.
TOKYO (AP) — A government source in Tokyo says Japan has begun talks with the International Energy Agency on measures to help ease the petroleum supply situation in the U.S. Gulf Coast area, including a possible release of some of Japan's strategic oil reserves. The IEA began consultations Wednesday with its members on the proposed release of some oil inventories to ease the impact of Katrina's assault on U.S. Gulf Coast oil refining and production.

12:10 a.m.
NASHVILLE (CBS/AP) — R & B legend Fats Domino, reported missing at midday Thursday, is now believed to have been rescued. That's according to his agent, Al Embry, who quotes Domino's youngest son as saying the musician and some family members got a helicopter ride to safety from the New Orleans home where he'd planned to ride out the storm.

The first glimmer of hope for daughter Karen Domino White, tracking events from New Jersey, came in the form of a Times-Picayune newspaper photo of the 77-year-old bluesman apparently being helped to safety — in a boat.

"We're very relieved," says White.

Read previous Katrina Disaster Blogs:
Sept. 2, Sept. 1, Aug. 31

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