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Home >> World
UPDATED: 15:10, September 24, 2005
Hurricane Rita inflicts fresh floods on New Orleans
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A slowly weakening Hurricane Rita steamed towards the Texas and Louisiana coast with 125 miles per hour winds on Friday, taking direct aim at the America's oil-refining industry.

Levee breaks caused new flooding in New Orleans, and as many as 24 people were killed when a bus carrying nursing-home evacuees caught fire in a traffic jam.

However, officials with the Army Corps of Engineers said there was no immediate indication the rest of New Orleans was in danger from the flooding.

At least 2.8 million people fled a 500-mile stretch of the Louisiana-Texas coastline in a seemingly all-at-once evacuation that caused monumental traffic jams in which hundreds of cars broke down or ran out of gas.

Joseph Ledet is a Bay City resident:

"We just trying to get some gas, we are going to ride it out over here. It has been kind of disorderly around here with no security so we are just trying to get some gas. After the weather passes we might make it home.Never seen nothing like this in all my life."

Rita weakened during the day to a Category 3 hurricane, down from Category 5 with 175 miles per hour winds on Wednesday.

US President George W. Bush pledged to assist state and local officials coping with Hurricane Rita.

Bush had planned to visit his home state to review the Rita response but canceled at the last minute to avoid slowing down the preparations.

Source: CRI news

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