“We know people are anxious to return home, but we are asking for everyone’s patience in waiting for the all clear,” said Brown. “Our greatest concern is the safety of Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama residents, first responders and rescue workers.”
Authorities are planning to evacuate the up to 23,000 people who have taken shelter in the Superdome, where water is rising inside, there is no electricity and toilets are overflowing. Four people died in the stadium overnight. An armada of buses is beginning to carry the Superdome refugees the 350 miles to Houston's Astrodome.
And there is looting. Louisiana Governor Kathleen Blanco acknowledged the looting problem, but said officials had to focus on finding those who were still alive. "We don't like looters one bit, but first and foremost is search and rescue," she said.
"It's a lot of chaos right now," Louisiana state police Director H.L. Whitehorn said.
President Bush ended his vacation in Crawford, Texas, to return to Washington with the promise to put together an aid package for recovery and cleanup. On his journey, Air Force One flew low enough for the president to view the destruction across the stricken Gulf region.
Early damage estimates from the storm have reached $25 billion. Please consider donating to the American Red Cross Hurricane Relief Fund via Blogcritics here.