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Rita Damage Less Than Expected

  • VOA News

Officials in Texas and Louisiana say damage from Hurricane Rita is less than expected but are urging evacuees to wait before coming home.

Emergency crews are clearing roads and restoring power across the hurricane zone, one day after Rita hit the two southern U.S. states with torrential rains and winds of nearly 200 kilometers per hour.

The storm knocked down trees and power lines in many areas and caused fresh flooding in New Orleans, which was still trying to dry out from Hurricane Katrina. Rescue crews fanned out across southwest Louisiana Sunday to search for hundreds of people who ignored pre-storm evacuation orders and are now trapped in their homes by high water.

Despite the calls to stay away, tens of thousands of evacuees began streaming home Saturday. The storm caused only one known death -- that in the state of Mississippi, where a tornado spawned by Rita overturned a mobile home.

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