New Orleans Mayor: Major Pump Could be Repaired Soon; Body Count "Going to be Awful"

SEPTEMBER 6, 2005 - Posted at 7:44 a.m. CDT

NEW ORLEANS, LA - The mayor of New Orleans is hopeful the city's most powerful pump will be working within a couple of days.

Ray Nagin says two pumps already are working to get the water out of the city, not that a broken levee has been repaired.

But Nagin says many problems still exist.  He tells NBC's "Today" Show that a lot of gas is still leaking and some residents refuse to leave, despite the danger.

Then there's the challenge of recovering bodies.  Nagin says firefighters have reported seeing them while making rescues.

Nagin says he's not sure how many died in the hurricane and flood, but adds "It's going to be awful and it's going to wake the nation up again."

As for the federal response, Nagin says he's "gone from anger to despair to seeing us turn the corner."

(Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)