Clean-Up, Rescue Begins from Rita

9-25-05 - Louisiana Governor Kathleen Blanco says "everything is just obliterated" after surveying coastal towns devastated by Hurricane Rita.

Viewing the destruction by helicopter, the governor saw fishing
communities in Cameron Parish that were reduced to splinters, with
concrete slabs the only evidence of homes that once stood there.

Once a popular vacation and fishing spot, Holly Beach is now gone. Camps have been replaced by white caps on the Gulf of Mexico.

Blanco described the devastation for emergency officials in Lake

Rescue crews searched for people still stranded by floodwaters.
The Abbeville Fire Department says hundreds may still be trapped in
Vermilion Parish near the Gulf of Mexico.

The governor of Texas surveyed the badly hit Beaumont area by air.

Pointing to a private aircraft hangar with a roof that was half
collapsed and half strewn across the surrounding field, Governor
Rick Perry said, `it looks like a blender just went over the top of

Gov. Perry today announced that the Texas Department of Public Safety can provide coastal evacuees information on road conditions in Texas if they call a 1-800 number.

“As we begin the staggered return plan, Texans can find out the latest information on road conditions by dialing 1-800-452-9292,” Perry said. “Our effort remains focused on restocking impacted areas with fuel, food and water. We ask Texans to continue to be patient because of the sheer size of this re-supply effort.”

Perry added that the Texas National Guard has commenced a massive airlift effort to return medical personnel to areas impacted by Hurricane Katrina. The state is also working to create a fuel distribution point at Ford Park Center in Beaumont.