Hurricane Unearths the Dead

For residents of coastal areas hit by last month's Hurricane Ike, a gruesome recovery task remains: reburying the dead. The storm's surge unearthed about 200 caskets in low-lying parts of Texas and southwest Louisiana. And for many of those coffins, Ike wasn't their first disturbance. A Louisiana coroner says about 80 percent of the caskets unearthed in one area were also stirred up by Hurricane Rita three years ago.

More than 300 caskets heaved up by Rita were found and reburied. But several were never found. Debra Dyson says her mother's coffin was unearthed in 2005, and later found 22 miles from the cemetery. She says the same thing happened after Hurricane Ike, with the casket floating to that same distant spot. Only this time, Dyson says, it didn't take nine months to find it.


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