New Katrina death tally: Half of victims 75 and up

As New Orleans residents keep an eye on the movement of a storm named Gustav, there's a new report on the deaths from Hurricane Katrina which hit three years ago tomorrow.

Researchers say of the nearly 1,000 who died, almost half were 75 or older.

The report cites several possible reasons why so many elderly people were victims. They may have thought the warnings were a false alarm, or feared that abandoning their homes would lead to looting, or simply didn't want to leave their familiar surroundings. And, of course, they were more likely to be frail or ill to begin with.

Other findings of the report: More than half of those who died were black; 42% were white, and only two percent were younger than 18.

Most fatalities were on the day the storm hit. Drowning was the leading cause of death, and more than one-third died in their homes.

A co-author of the report says plans are under way to help New Orleans' residents, including the elderly, prepare for Gustav, which some projections say could hit Louisiana with hurricane strength in coming days.

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