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Hundreds feared dead in Katrina's wake
Updated: 2005-08-31 07:00

In Biloxi, the storm surge destroyed some of the casinos that lined the shore and ripped houses off their foundations. Dazed residents foraged for food and water and looting was widespread, the city spokesman said.

"It was like our tsunami," Creel said.

Fires were allowed to burn themselves out because firefighters had only the small amount of water they carried on their trucks.

Before striking the Gulf Coast, Katrina last week hit southern Florida and killed seven people.

Katrina knocked out electricity to about 2.3 million customers, or nearly 5 million people, in Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Florida, utility companies said. Restoring power could take weeks, they warned.

The storm had swept through oil and gas fields in the Gulf of Mexico, where 20 percent of the nation's energy is produced. At least two drilling rigs were knocked adrift and one in Mobile Bay, Alabama, broke free of its mooring and slammed into a bridge.

U.S. oil prices on Tuesday jumped $3.65 a barrel to peak at $70.85 as oil firms assessed damage.

Governors in the stricken states called out more than 7,500 National Guard troops to help police control looting, remove debris and deliver aid.

Convoys of Humvees and military trucks streamed south on Interstate 65 through Alabama with loads of fuel and power generators. Special Forces boat crews were dispatched to conduct search and rescue operations in flooded communities.

The remnants of the storm spun off tornadoes in Georgia and drenched Tennessee and Kentucky. In western Kentucky, heavy rain turn the normally placid North and South Forks of the Little River into torrents and rescuers used boats to retrieve people stranded in a flooded neighborhood. A 10-year-old girl was sucked into a drainage pipe and killed.

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Hundreds feared dead in Katrina's wake


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