Health Emergency Declared

From CNN:
 
      The Bush administration declared a public health emergency for the entire Gulf Coast on Wednesday in an effort to stop the spread of disease in the wake of Hurricane Katrina.
   
      "We are gravely concerned about the potential for cholera, typhoid and dehydrating diseases that could come as a result of the stagnant water and the conditions," Health and Human Services Secretary Mike Leavitt. Authorities prepared Wednesday to evacuate about 25,000 refugees who’ve been stranded since Katrina struck and transport them to the Houston Astrodome. Texas officials offered to open the giant stadium as a shelter for people displaced by the storm. conditions were deteriorating rapidly at the Superdome, as evacuees sweltered without power for air conditioning and toilets overflowed.
 
      Electricity is out for more than 2.3 million people in Mississippi, Louisiana, Alabama and Florida.
Katrina’s effect on oil supplies and gas prices spread nationwide. Katrina forced operators to close more than a tenth of the country’s refining capacity and a quarter of its oil production, which sent gasoline prices surging and prompted the White House to tap the U.S. Strategic Petroleum Reserve.
 
      The Army Corps of Engineers is bringing in heavy, twin-rotored Chinook helicopters to drop 3,000-pound sandbags into the gap.
 
Stats:
# Public health emergency declared; cholera, typhoid fears
# Katrina death toll so far estimated at least 120
# New Orleans mayor says toll in his city will be hundreds
# Superdome evacuees moving to Astrodome
 
UPDATE: Please check out my new Weather Blog on MSN Spaces.
 
 

      

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