And still, more news on the Katrina front today…
Nearly six months after Hurricane Katrina, more than 1,300 bodies have been found, but the real death toll is clearly higher. How much higher, no one can say with any certainty.
Hundreds of people are still unaccounted for, and some of them — again, no one is sure how many — were probably washed into the Gulf of Mexico, drowned when their fishing boats sank, swept into Lake Pontchartrain or alligator-infested swamps, or buried under crushed homes, said Dr. Louis Cataldie, Louisiana medical examiner.
Cataldie noted that coffins, disgorged from the earth by the floodwaters, have been found great distances from their graveyards, and “if we have coffins that have washed 30 miles away, I can assure you there are people who have.”
“The likelihood is there are people we will not find,” he said.
New Orleans Coroner Frank Minyard said a final sweep of homes in the devastated Ninth Ward will be done this month with help from federal officials. After that, he said, any more bodies found will probably be discovered in out-of-the-way places by hunters or fishermen.
But neither he nor Cataldie would venture a guess as to how many how many undiscovered victims are out there.
Could the numbers of so many lost, so many still missing, so many never to be found have lessened… I think we all know the answer to that, at this point.
Related story: Katrina’s Unclaimed to Get Hometown Burial.