September 4~ Situation Stabilizing
September 4 was a day where the situation in New Orleans finally stabilized. 4,600 active military personnel joined the nearly 27,000 National Guard troops on the ground, creating the much-needed military presence to bring the city under control. Less than 10,000 hold-outs remained in New Orleans, reducing the need for rescue missions, which allowed officials to turn more to search and recovery of those who lost their lives in the hurricane and subsequent flood. Fires continued to plague the city, though on a lesser scale than previous days. On the political front, there was a rising chorus of discontent over what was widely perceived as an extremely slow Federal response to the hurricane tragedy.
Mountains of trash are all that remain outside the deserted Superdome on September 4
The abandoned Superdome sits in a sea of floodwaters
While the situation had improved over previous days, fires continued to break out over the city
Roof-top rescues of stranded residents continued on September 4, though on a much smaller scale than previous days. One such helicopter crashed during a rescue mission. Luckily, no one was killed
Since the focus of officials was on rescuing those still alive, the recovery of dead bodies had not yet begun nearly a week after Katrina made landfall. Some survivors objected to the seeming lack of dignity for the dead and, in some cases, created make-shift graves for those who died and laid in the open for days.
September 5~ Sealing The Breach
On September 5, the 17th Street Canal levee breach was sealed, allowing the Army Corps Of Engineers to begin plans on pumping the billions of gallons of water out of New Orleans. Emergency officials continued their rescues of the remaining residents still trapped in their homes, though on a much smaller scale than previous days. One sobering moment occured when Mayor Nagin made the announcement that he expected the death toll in New Orleans alone to be as high as 10,000, although the official count in Louisiana stood at 59. Neighboring Mississippi also reported an increasing death toll, with the official count over 100 dead. President Bush made his second visit to the ravaged Gulf Coast in 3 days in an attempt to stem the rising wave of criticism in the slow government response.
Much of the city remained flooded on September 5, with only the highway overpasses rising above the floodwaters.
Rescue missions continued sweeping the flooded city for any remaining survivors
The Lower 9th Ward was especially hard-hit in the flood. Emergency workers continued searching the area, evacuating any remaining residents still trapped in their homes.
A military vehicle traversed the flooded area by the Superdome, maintaining order while searching for any remaining residents.
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