More than a week after Hurricane Katrina devastated the Gulf Coast, the US military’s aid programme in Louisiana and Mississippi is becoming more visible. Three hovercraft arrived today with additional supplies. As well as handing out emergency aid, the soldiers are helping with the recovery of bodies. They are also beginning to remove rubble and debris. It is a big relief for residents in the resort town of Biloxi, which was badly hit.
One resident said: “Well this is a lot of hope for a lot of people, because we had so much destruction, so many people without homes, so this is definitely the hope we needed. We have been waiting for this for a week now. So it’s a little late but they are here.” More than a million people fled their homes – many perhaps permanently – and hundreds of thousands are now in shelters, hotels and rooms offered by families in neighbouring states. While the focus now is to help those in need, there are certain to be recriminations at a top political level in the months to come.