Thursday, September 01, 2005

More on the death toll..

Desperation and Despair Envelop Mississippi

September 1, 2005 1:00 p.m. EST

Douglas Maher - All Headline News Staff Reporter

The nightmarish scenario in Louisiana is paralled by the dire situation in Mississippi, where reports coming in from rescue workers show a desperate situation.

Residents from the state are being deputized by local sheriffs to go into the rubble and reach the coastline to recover bodies of victims from the storm who were killed by the massive storm surge.

Firefighters from around the country are filling up refrigerated 18-wheeler trucks with bodies. According to one firefighter on Fox News, the bodies are "being treated with dignity and not tossed around", but the official death toll remains at 185 for the time being.

Local county coroners give the low number of fatalities due to a lack of electricity, forcing recovery operations to move all bodies to trucks until a more subtle way can be found for identification.

In some cases, entire families are discovered by rescuers in closets where they were drowned by the surge. Local forecasters had advised residents to go into a closet and put a mattress over themselves to protect from damaging winds in-case their roof blew off during the storm.

Firefighters can be seen spray painting numbers on homes as a way of leaving notice for others that the home has been checked. There are homes with anywhere from three to as high as thirteen bodies contained inside. These codes are then seen and trucks can come by later to pick up bodies and bring them to a central location.