1,577 and counting
New Orleans Times-Picayune's Michelle Hunter, May 19: Deaths of evacuees push toll to 1,577:
The first stories of death came quickly and immediately: New Orleans area residents drowning in fetid floodwaters, succumbing in sweltering attics or being swept out to sea.Via After the Levees' Lois Dunn, who points out there are still 274 people missing from Louisiana, and bodies continue to be found.
But state officials say that for weeks after it made landfall Aug. 29, Hurricane Katrina kept claiming Louisiana victims, often in more subtle fashion and often in other states: elderly and ill evacuees too fragile for grueling trips on gridlocked highways, infants stillborn to mothers who were shuttled to other cities when they should have been on bed rest and residents overcome with anxiety by 24-hour television broadcasts of the devastation back home.
Because of a continuing rise in reports of out-of-state deaths, Louisiana's official Katrina toll jumped 22 percent on Thursday, to 1,577 deaths, when the Department of Health and Hospitals added 281 more victims to the count. Texas alone accounted for 223 deaths of the increase.