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Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Death toll now estimated to 40,000

My God, I hope this is wrong.
A co-owner of Shelbyville-based Gowen-Smith Chapel has been deployed to Gulfport, Miss., to help with recovery since Hurricane Katrina, and his business partner here has described the grim task there.

"DMort is telling us to expect up to 40,000 bodies," Dan Buckner said, quoting officials with the Disaster Mortuary Operational Response Team, a volunteer arm of Homeland Security.

His partner, Dan Hicks, of Paducah, Ky., was deployed Monday. Buckner, of Dickson, is on standby. Their funeral home is one of several collection sites for donations to be taken to the Red Cross in Fayetteville on Wednesday for transfer to places in need.

The 40,000 estimate does "not include the number of disinterred remains that have been displaced from ... mausoleums," Buckner told the Times-Gazette Monday.

Since New Orleans is below sea level, in-ground burial is impossible.

[...]

"My personal opinion is they will be recovering bodies for 30 ... to 120 days," Buckner said.

Remember, the hurricane didn't kill most of the people, lack of communication and outright stupidity did.