September 7~ Slow Progress
September 7 saw continued slow progress in the recovery efforts. The pumping continued in New Orleans, where officials estimated that 60% of the city now remained underwater, compared to more than 80% at the peak of the flooding. With the floodwaters receeding, recovery efforts to retrieve the bodies of those who lost their lives began in earnest. By day's end, the death toll in Louisiana stood at 89, with Mississippi reporting 200 dead.
On the political front, President Bush asked Congress for an additional $51 Billion to fund relief efforts in the stricken Gulf Coast regions. Widespread discontent continued over the very slow Federal response to the disaster, with demonstrations occuring in front of the White House. Some help finally began trickling into devastated communities with Red Cross Relief Stations setting up in various Mississippi towns to distribute desperately needed food, water, and clothing to the homeless thousands.
Floodwaters still covered much of the city of New Orleans on September 7
This aerial shot taken on Sept 7, shows the flooding at Tulane University.
The U.S.S. Iwo Jima, docked at the Port of New Orleans, became the command and control center for the humanitarian relief effort.
Military personnel patrol a street in the Bywater area of New Orleans
The search for the dead proceeds door-to-door in the town of Port Sulphur, Louisiana
Residents search through boxes of donated supplies at a Red Cross relief center set up in Waveland, Mississippi
September 8~ Cautious Optimism
As the body-recovery process continued, rescue workers were finding far fewer bodies than expected, bringing a sense of optimism as authorities stated that the final death toll from Katrina may be much lower than originally feared. As of September 8, the overall death toll stood at 337, including 204 from Mississippi and 118 from Louisiana.
In an attempt to overcome some of the stigma of inept handling of the Katrina disaster, FEMA began handing out debit cards worth $2,000 to registered evacuees to provide immediate relief to those most in need. Just one day later, this program was cancelled, due to inefficient distribution means, and ultimately was converted to a "direct-deposit" type system...further exemplifying the confusion and disorganization at all levels of the FEMA beurocrasy.
|This view of the Airline Highway in New Orleans, shows that extensive flooding continues as of September 8|
The floodwaters begin to recede in the Edgewood neighborhood of New Orleans
|This view from the Superdome on September 8 shows a deserted and flooded New Orleans|
Military personnel stroll by a dead body in the streets of New Orleans...a surreal scene that would have been unimaginable prior to Katrina
|A military convoy plows through floodwaters on Interstate 10 in New Orleans|
Mexican Soldiers arrive in Texas to assist with disaster relief to displaced Katrina victims. This marks the first Mexican military operation on U.S. soil in 90 years.
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