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New Orleans Mardi Gras spirit undampened by tornado

Earth News
Feb 13, 2007

NEW ORLEANS, United States (AFP) — A deadly tornado was unable to dampen the Mardi Gras spirit in New Orleans as the Big Easy prepared for an extended weekend of parades and parties.
The tornado tore through neighborhoods still recovering from Hurricane Katrina early Tuesday, killing an 86-year-old woman who was living in a trailer while waiting for her flood-ravaged home to be repaired.
Twelve other people were injured, two seriously, by high winds which closed schools and roads and knocked out power to some 20,000 people.
Anti-looting squads were dispatched "as a precaution" to the heavily damaged areas, police said. "This is unfortunate," Carnival historian Errol Laborde told AFP. "But I think things will be cleared up soon. By tomorrow night, people will be reveling again." Mardi Gras is a major source of revenue for the city whose economy is dependant upon the tourism industry, and the celebrations usually get under way two weeks before Fat Tuesday, which falls on February 20 this year.
This year's festivities are expected to be bigger and brasher than last year's party, held just six months after Katrina killed more than 1,300 people and flooded more than 80 percent of the city.
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