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Last Updated: Sunday, 21 September, 2003, 22:13 GMT 23:13 UK
Slow recovery after US hurricane
Emergency worker deals with damaged power line
Emergency teams are working to fix downed power lines
Eastern regions of the United States are struggling to recover from Hurricane Isabel, which has left a trail of death and destruction in its wake.

About 1.6 million homes from North Carolina to Delaware remained without power on Sunday - more than two days after Isabel ripped though the region.

At least 28 deaths have been blamed on the storm - mostly from traffic-related accidents.

At its worst, Isabel cut electricity to more than 6 million homes.

"That's what's creating most of the problems for the people - the lack of power," said Bruce Price, head of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

Two days, we thought it was fun. We camped out. Four days is long enough
Newport News resident

Emergency teams are working to restore services.

Two utility workers trying to bring power back to towns in Maryland were among those killed, Reuters news agency reports.

More than 7,000 people remain in emergency shelters throughout the affected regions - down from a peak of 30,000, Mr Price said.

"Two days, we thought it was fun. We camped out. Four days is long enough," a resident from Newport News, Virginia, told the Associated Press news agency.

Hurricane Isabel, which was briefly listed as a rare maximum Category Five hurricane, made landfall in North Carolina on Thursday, with winds in excess of 160 kph (100 mph).

The storm then charged north-west through Virginia and Maryland, and eventually petered out over Canada.

The US Department of Homeland Security is co-ordinating the government's response to the disaster, sending relief supplies to the worst-hit areas.

Long haul ahead

Officials in North Carolina's coastal Outer Banks, where dunes were flattened and houses smashed, said the region will not properly recover until next summer.

Washington flags be repaired
The tattered flags lining the Washington memorial are having to be repaired
"All the towns along the coast have lost houses or hotels... It will be months before we get back to normal," said Renee Cahoon, commissioner for Dare County.

Flood waters have been slowly ebbing away, but many streets, including those in the capital Washington DC, are still littered with debris and downed tree limbs.

Clean-up teams have been using chain saws to cut up the branches and haul them away.

At the historic home of America's first president George Washington, at Mount Vernon, a large chunk was torn from the last remaining tree on the estate planted by Washington himself.

Executive Director Jim Rees said it is not yet known whether the white ash, planted in 1785, could be saved.




SEE ALSO:
In pictures: Washington after the storm
19 Sep 03  |  Photo Gallery
Isabel shuts Washington
18 Sep 03  |  Americas
In pictures: Isabel comes ashore
18 Sep 03  |  Photo Gallery
Bermuda counts cost of hurricane
07 Sep 03  |  Americas
Hurricane Isabel: Your experiences
18 Sep 03  |  Have Your Say


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