Location: 93 million miles from the sun and spinning
or so thats
what they say.....
NEW ORLEANS, Louisiana (CNN) --
Officials at the Astrodome in Houston, Texas, saying the
facility has reached capacity, have stopped accepting refugees
from flooded New Orleans.
Exhausted evacuees who had
traveled more than 300 miles on buses to be housed at the
Astrodome were turned away late Thursday and diverted
The city of San Antonio, about 200 miles
from Houston, has agreed to take in refugees.
spokesman told CNN that the fire marshal informed Houston
authorities late Thursday that the Astrodome had reached
capacity and, for safety reasons, must stop accepting further
In New Orleans, meanwhile, violence
disrupted relief efforts as authorities rescued desperate
residents still trapped in the flooded city and tried to
evacuate thousands of others living among corpses and human
Federal Emergency Management Agency Director
Michael Brown said his agency was attempting to work "under
conditions of urban warfare."
Police snipers were
stationed on the roof of their precinct, trying to protect it
from armed miscreants roaming seemingly at will.
Officers warned a CNN crew to stay off the streets
because of escalating danger, and cautioned others about
attempted shootings and rapes by groups of young men.
"This is a desperate SOS," New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin
said in a statement Thursday afternoon, with thousands of
people stranded at the city's convention center with no food,
water or electricity -- and fading hope. (See video on the
desperate conditions -- 4:36 )
growing frustration with the disorder evident on the streets,
raising questions about the coordination and timeliness of
"Why is no one in charge?" asked one
frustrated evacuee at the convention center. "I find it hard
Government officials insisted they were
putting forth their best efforts and pleaded for patience,
saying further help was on the way.
resident at the Louisiana Superdome issued a warning to
authorities who may be headed to the stadium, where up to
30,000 people sought refuge after Monday's Hurricane Katrina
and now await evacuation to Texas by bus.
don't send the National Guard," Raymond Cooper told CNN by
telephone. "Send someone with a bullhorn outside the place
that can talk to these people first."
scenes of lawlessness and desperation, with people simply
dragging corpses into corners.
"They have quite a few
people running around here with guns," he said. "You got these
young teenage boys running around up here raping these girls."
Elsewhere, groups of armed men wandered the streets,
buildings smoldered and people picked through stores for what
they could find.
Charity Hospital, one of several
facilities attempting to evacuate patients, was forced to halt
the effort after coming under sniper fire. (Full story)
Recovery efforts also continued Thursday in
Mississippi, where Katrina smashed entire neighborhoods and
killed at least 185 people.
"We got hit by the worst
natural disaster in the history of the United States,"
Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour told CNN Thursday.