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September 12, 2005

Down but not out: Signs of renewed life in New Orleans

Topics: Natural Disasters

Life is coming back to the city of New Orleans, already. Even though the death toll has climbed over 400 - it's far short of the 10,000 hyped by the media; and Northrop Grumman Corp. , the largest manufacturing employer in Louisiana and Mississippi, put out a call for thousands of ship builders to return to work if possible Monday at shipyards in New Orleans and Pascagoula, Mississippi. There are also other signs that the city is far short of being down for the count.

Gary LaFarge, head of the Port of New Orleans, said the damage suffered by the facility was not as bad as feared, and it could be back to normal earlier than previously thought, in four to five months. Twenty percent of U.S. imports and exports pass through the port, a source of jobs for 100,000 in the region.

The way was cleared to start rebuilding a section of Interstate 10, an elevated highway that passes over part of Lake Pontchartrain between New Orleans and Slidell, Louisiana. The road was all but destroyed in the storm.

Contractors said they hoped to have one span of the twin-span bridge opened to two-way traffic within 45 days.

The New Orleans Times-Picayune reported Sunday evening that tests on the water that spilled into the below-sea-level city through broken levees did not have concentrations of toxic chemicals high enough to pose a threat to human health. But it said fecal bacteria is a danger and so much salt water flowed into the city that lawns may not recover for some time.

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Posted by Richard at September 12, 2005 5:33 AM

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