“I’d imagine that’s increased at this point,” he said.
Swanton also clarified that earlier reports of looting in the area were overestimated, and that there was only one instance of a looter.
“I have confirmed at least there was an incident last night when they thought they may have had a looter,” he said. “It was an isolated incident.”
Destruction in the area had varied, Swanton said.
“It ranges from broken windows to complete devastation. There are homes that are no longer homes … walls were ripped off, roofs were peeled back.”
Swanton told reporters that the cool weather in the area has been helpful, but they want to rescue survivors before rain increases.
“As the hours go by with the temp getting cooler, with rain here, we certainly want to find folks, if they’re in the environment, injured. Numerous search teams are searching as rapidly as they can to save these people,” he said.
Swanton also said that a significant area of the fertilizer plant had been destroyed, and that homes were leveled as far as five blocks away.
“I can’t tell you the number of looters or whether they have been caught … that is a significant concern for us,” he said.