(///// SOT /////)

[IN Q=We will stay the course..]
[OUT Q=mass destruction.]

But President Bush says more danger lies ahead, as allied troops work toward that goal.

Plus, we'll have a live update on the flooding situation in Southside.

Temperatures warm up which could help trigger a few strong thunderstorms this afternoon. I'll have your forecast.

News 7 at Noon starts right now...



So far, the allied death toll stands at 13.
A U-S Marine became the first COMBAT casualty of the second Gulf War.
Earlier, four Americans and eight British soldiers died in a helicopter crash in Kuwait.


[GRAPHIC=First Casualties]
[SUPER=219-Kimberly McBroom/kmcbroom*wdbj7.com;]

Good Afternoon, I'm Kimberly McBroom.
Despite the casualties, allied forces continue making good progress in western and southern Iraq.
[SUPER=205-Baghdad, Iraq;]

U-S officials say a round of major air strikes could be in the works.
B-52 bombers have left England.
Meanwhile, authorities say they're pretty sure it WAS Saddam Hussein, and NOT one of his doubles, who appeared on Iraqi T-V after the first attack.

But they stress that doesn't mean he's alive and well.
Teri Okita joins us now from Kuwait City, with a war update.
[SUPER=201-Teri Okita/CBS News;]
[SUPER=205-Kuwait City, Kuwait;]

(///// SOT /////)
[IN Q=]
[SUPER=203-Southern Iraq;]
[SUPER=201-Teri Okita/CBS News;]
[SUPER=203-Washington, DC;]
[SUPER=201-Mohammed Saeed al-Sahhaf/Iraqi Minister of Information;]
[SUPER=205-Kuwait City, Kuwait;]
[OUT Q=back to you.]



U.S. and British forces are making gains in Southern Iraq...

(natz of convoy)


The U.S. stars and stripes flew for a short time over port city known as Umm Qasr today. Marines captured the city after a firefight with Iraqi troops.
Allied forces also seized a main road leading to the city of Basra...and captured two airfields in western Iraq. In some areas, commanders say Iraqi troops are not putting up much of a fight.


"some resistance, but not significant and not very coordinated."

(OKITA STANDUP: The exact number of Iraqi casualties is not known, but

the Pentagon has acknowledged the first allied combat death, a Marine shot while on patrol in southern Iraq. Here in Kuwait, on Thursday, 4 Americans and eight British marines were killed in a helicopter crash.)


(SOT, President Bush: "All in Washington proud of skill and bravery of

those willing to sacrifice.)
Military leaders say their investigating this as an accident, and there's no sign enemy fire was involved.


But overwhelming allied fire power is convincing some Iraqis to surrender. These two waved a white flag and are said to be among hundreds of Iraqis laying down their arms.

(natz of Baghdad bombing)

Meanwhile Baghdad is reeling from missile attacks that will likely intensify in the coming days. It's been confirmed that one of Saddam Hussein's homes was hit , but Iraq's information minister says the dictator is alive and well.

sot: Mohammed Saeed al-Sahhaf/Iraqi Minister of Information

"They are a complete disgrace, they are a super power of villains."


[TAPE#=1:19:38 on 03-03]

It is a wild day to be along the banks of the Dan River in Southside.
From Danville to South Boston, floowdwaters are approaching the levels they reached during Hurricane Fran in 1996.

[DOUBLE BOXES=Kimberly/Smallshaw Starlink;]

Steve Smallshaw joins us from along the riverbanks in downtown Danville. Steve what's the river like at this hour?


(///// SOT /////)
[IN Q=]
[SUPER=01-Kenneth Starr/Starr Towing and Recovery;]
[OUT Q=underwater right now.]


Steve adlibs
[DOUBLE BOXES=Kimberly/Smallshaw /Starlink;]

Toss to Kim

[ANCHOR=Kimberly FULL]

Leo will be back with our forecast after this short break.
[REPRS@CL] SUPER=X4031; Fax/Copyright Noon/Weekends [SUPER=X4030; e-Mail/Copyright Noon/Weekends]

by SS