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Rescues, Cleanup Begin in South Following Hurricane Katrina


Rescue crews along the Gulf Coast of United States are performing the harrowing task of searching for survivors in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. Those who did escape Katrina's wrath now face the challenges of a major cleanup operation.

As the sun rose, the extent of the damage and destruction wrought by Hurricane Katrina became visible. Across the southern United States, dozens of people are believed dead -- more than a million without power. The worst loss of life -- in Mississippi. As many as 30 in one beachside apartment complex.

Harvey Jackson fought hard to keep his grandchildren safe, but says the waters swept his wife away. "I held her hand as tightly as I could and she told me, 'You can't hold me, take care of the kids and the grandkids'."

For some lucky survivors, help arrived in time... and others felt they were somehow spared.

"I thought it was going to be worse in my house,” said Oscar Blank. “I thought it would be more damage and more flooding and all. Very lucky, I'd say."

The cleanup will take days... rescuers are searching for survivors, while crews are clearing debris and downed power lines.

Officials say some residents evacuated from their homes may not be able to return for weeks.

And once the floodwaters recede, new dangers could appear -- unstable buildings and disease from dead animals. President Bush has declared several states federal disaster areas.