In Bay St. Louis, Miss., part of the courthouse collapsed. In Chalmette, Louisiana, local judges were reportedly stranded at the St. Bernard Parish court, trying to reconstruct records damaged in the flooding caused by Hurricane Katrina. And at the Louisiana Supreme Court in New Orleans, boxes of evidence files were reported to be soaked.
With authorities still trying to restore order in New Orleans and provide essential services and count the dead along the Gulf Coast, most rescue personnel had little time to worry about documents that might have been lost in the storm.
But archivists and others across the country were turning their attention to what could become a big problem for genealogists, historians and many others as people try to rebuild their lives: the potential destruction of the vital records of births, deaths, wills, marriages, divorces and property ownership.
You can read more about this in the Baltimore Sun's web site . (Free registration on the site may be required.)