Saturday, September 10, 2005 blog highlights

10:39 A.M. (AP): New Orleans Police Chief Eddie Compass said Saturday that his hard-pressed force was regaining control despite a shortage of roughly 300 officers.
"We're much more organized at this point," Compass said. "We have our logistics in order and the patrols are going very well."
Compass said more than 200 people had been arrested in recent days and were being held in a makeshift jail.
Of a force of 1,750, Compass said he is short about 300 officers, but he had offered no details about where they were or why they were not available for duty.
"I can't worry about that now," he said. "We're doing the job we have to do."

8:49 P.M. (AP): An impish Chris Rock couldn't resist scaring producers during a benefit concert aired across all major broadcast networks and several cable channels. Looking into the camera, Rock said, "George Bush hates midgets."
Rock was referring to an incident during an NBC fundraising concert last weekend in which rapper Kanye West veered off script to lambast Bush's response to the devestation in New Orleans
"We've all heard the question," Rock said on Friday. "Why didn't these people just leave when they had the chance? But now we realize that not everybody can just jump into their SUVs and drive to a nice hotel. These people depend on public transportation and these people can't afford a nice hotel, because some of them work there. Now it's your chance to help them."
Neil Young, Randy Newman, Mariah Carey and Dr. John were among other performers.

7:17 P.M. - (AP): The number of unemployment applications, already a record in Louisiana, was up to more than 165,000 Friday -- 115,000 within the state, and at least 50,000 more by refugees of Hurricane Katrina who were in other states.The state Department of Labor was working with its counterparts in Texas and other states, Secretary John Warner Smith said Friday.People can apply for unemployment insurance and disaster relief at any one-stop job center, online at or by calling toll-free numbers 1-866-783-5567 or 1-800-818-7811. Injured workers who were getting workers' compensation before the hurricane should call 1-866-783-5567, 1-800-201-2494 or 1-800-201-3457 to update contact information.

6:34 P.M. - (AP): With power substations in St. Bernard Parish still underwater, only 1 percent of the homes and businesses there have electricity, Louisiana Public Service Commission member Jimmy Fields said Friday.More than 389,000 homes and businesses in the state remained without power Friday -- 339,237 Entergy customers, and about 50,000 Cleco customers, according to the companies' Web sites.But about two-thirds of the 1.2 million customers left without power at the height of the storm had it back.

3:00 P.M. - WWL-TV Reporter Josh McElveen: 187 portable pumps capable of pumping 25,000 gallons per minute are working to get water out of the city. Pumps at 17th Street Canal are now pumping out 21,000 gallons per second, but debris could hinder process.

2:55 P.M. - WWL-TV Reporter Dennis Woltering in French Quarter: Flooding in Treme area has gone down about 9 feet.

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