Saturday, September 17, 2005

"Target Rich"

Words to describe the dead in the poorest and hardest hit neighborhoods in New Orleans.



Higher-than-expected death toll seen in clustered New Orleans corpses

By Michael Perlstein
Staff writer

Tentative optimism that New Orleans’ death toll from Katrina might be far lower than first projected has given way to somber reality over the past 36 hours as search and rescue squad turn up bodies by the dozen in the hardest hit areas of the city.

By mid-afternoon Friday, the black triangles used to designate human remains were multiplying on an emergency command center map. Federal Emergency Management Agency rescue squad liaison Charles Hood said a spike in discoveries Friday has started to take an emotional toll on rescue workers.

“Our squad members are getting access to trauma and grief counselors,” Hood said. “It’s becoming a very difficult task.”

The state is in charge of releasing Katrina’s official death total, which stood at 579 Friday evening. Hood said the periodic reports from his seven 80-person squads indicate the casualty count is going to jump in the coming days, but declined to speculate on what the number would climb to. One squad alone located and marked more than a dozen houses containing dead people on Friday.

“Parts of the city have become a target-rich environment for human remains,” Hood said. “We’re just now getting into the areas that experienced the most rapid inundation.”


Where's Karl Rove, the man in charge of Hurricane Katrina disaster relief?

Karl Rove managed to tear himself away from his reconstruction duties yesterday for a fundraising visit to Greensboro, N.C.

The Greensboro News and Record reports that he attended a Republican National Committee fundraiser at a private home.

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