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New Orleans neighbor awash in oil spill

Sept. 13, 2005 at 9:57 AM

BATON ROUGE, La., Sept. 13 (UPI) -- Officials from St. Bernard parish, east of New Orleans who were hit hardest by Hurricane Katrina, say an oil spill may make parts of the land uninhabitable.

President of the parish Henry Rodriguez said while the flood waters are receding, there was no way to even guess when residents might be allowed back to survey the disaster left by the hurricane.

"We have a massive oil spill," Rodriguez said at the state capital, Baton Rouge on Monday. "Some of you will never go back to your homes."

Every part of the parish has flood damage, with some areas receiving as much as 12 feet of water, the Baton Rouge Advocate reported.

"I didn't come here to give you false hope," Rodriguez said. "We're all in the same boat -- I had 7 feet of water in my house."

The Environmental Protection Agency is assessing and cleaning up the oil spill, and until the agency is done, no residents will be allowed to return, the newspaper said.

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