New Orleans Begins Grisly Cleanup
NEW ORLEANS (AP) -- Rescuers going house to house searched for hurricane survivors Sunday, and New Orleans turned its attention to gathering up what could be thousands of bodies from the floodwaters. "It is going to be about as ugly of a scene as I think you can imagine," the nation's homeland security chief warned.
No one knows how many people were killed by Hurricane Katrina and how many more succumbed waiting to be rescued. But the bodies are everywhere: hidden in attics, floating in the ruined city, crumpled in wheelchairs, abandoned on highways.
"I think it's evident it's in the thousands," Health and Human Services Secretary Michael Leavitt said Sunday on CNN, echoing predictions by city and state officials last week about the death toll.
Craig Vanderwagen, rear admiral of the U.S. Public Health Service, said one morgue alone, at a St. Gabriel prison, expected 1,000 to 2,000 bodies.