Flying over southern Louisiana, an observer who was unaware that a hurricane had roared through the area, would think it was blitzed by war planes.
Flying over southern Louisiana, an observer who was unaware that a hurricane had roared through the area, would think it was blitzed by war planes. Devastation is widespread. Property damage is still being measured. It is expected to end up in the hundreds of millions of dollars. The federal government has given Louisiana two million dollars, and has promised a lot more money.
Hurricane Betsy caused great human damage, also. Sixty-four persons are known dead. It is feared the death toll will rise as rescue workers pick through the wreckage. Louisiana officials say the death toll could go as high as 400.
For those who survived the storm but lost their homes, refugee centres have been set up.
Two hundred boats on the Gulf of Mexico and the Mississippi River were knocked out by Hurricane Betsy's furious punch. Among the boats lost was a barge loaded with 600 tons of poisonous Chloride gas. Should the gas escape, the 140,000 persons in the Baton Rouge area would be in danger of losing their lives. The federal government has shipped thousands of gas masks to Baton Rouge. They are being passed out to the local residents. The mayor of the city says he doesn't expect a gas leakage, but he is not taking any chances. He's alerted all residents to stand by for possible evacuation.
Meanwhile, navy divers and army engineers are poking through the Mississippi River, near Baton Rouge, for the sunken gas-filled barge. A Navy destroyer is anchored in the river, as divers work around the clock looking for the missing boat.