“Most likely thousands” dead in New Orleans

Hurricane Katrina could be the deadliest natural disaster in the U.S. in nearly 100 years, surpassed only by the 1906 San Francisco earthquake.

New Orleans mayor C. Ray Nagin said there will be a “total evacuation of the city. We have to. The city will not be functional for two or three months.”

Asked how many had died, Nagin responded, “Minimum, hundreds. Most likely, thousands.”

The floodwaters streamed into the city’s streets from two levee breaks near Lake Pontchartrain a day after New Orleans thought it had escaped catastrophic damage from Katrina. The floodwaters covered 80 percent of the city, in some areas 20 feet deep, in a reddish-brown soup of sewage, gasoline and garbage. — WWL-TV

Inside the Superdome, where over 16,000 remain awaiting evacuation to Houston’s Astrodome, conditions rapidly deteriorated. Crack vials have been seen in the restrooms, three rapes have been reported, one of a child, and one person committed suicide.

There is no sanitation. The stench is overwhelming. The city’s water supply, which had held up since Sunday, gave out early Wednesday, and toilets in the Superdome became inoperable and began to overflow.

“There is feces on the walls,” said Bryan Hebert, 43, who arrived at the Superdome on Monday. “There is feces all over the place.” — Los Angeles Times

Looters complicate the evacuation effort. Looting is still widespread, and people have been reported as taking potshots at police, rescue workers, helicopters, or anything that moves. Evacuation of the sick from the Superdome had been stopped Wednesday after some complete morons took potshots at a military helicopter evacuating people in need of medical assistance.

“We’re dealing with one of the worst natural disasters in our nation’s history,” said President George W. Bush Wednesday. He said recovery was expected to take years.

Public schools in Texas and Florida are preparing to accept students displaced from New Orleans.

The last few bars which remained open during the hurricane have closed, not from looting, but because they simply ran out of alcohol.

Senator Trent Lott (R-MS) is homeless. His Pascagoula, Miss., home was destroyed by the hurricane.

“Fats” Domino is missing and may very well be dead. He rode out the storm in the hardest-hit area of New Orleans.

Domino, 76, lives with his wife Rosemary and daughter in a three-story pink-roofed house in New Orleans’ 9th ward, which is now under water.

On Monday afternoon, Domino told his manager, Al Embry of Nashville, that he would “ride out the storm” at home. Embry is now frantic. — FOX News

It looks like nobody’s going back for a very long time.