Louisianans Flee Coast As Hurricane Hits Land

With Hurricane Gustav reaching land Monday, nearly 2 million people have been evacuated from coastal Louisiana. The evacuation is being hailed as a vast improvement from the effort three years ago during Hurricane Katrina, but some residents remain.
September 1, 2008, 11am PDT | Nate Berg
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"At least 1.9 million people had evacuated from coastal Louisiana by Sunday afternoon, state officials said, many through a government transportation program activated with the approach of Hurricane Gustav."

"State Police Superintendent Mike Edmonson said reports from various areas indicated that 90 percent to 95 percent of the residents of coastal Louisiana heeded orders to evacuate, several days in advance."

"'New Orleans looks like a ghost town,' Edmonson said after flying over the city. He said he had received reports that there are about 10,000 people left in New Orleans."

"The hurricane-response program included a series of coordinated -- and strongly worded -- mandatory evacuation orders by the affected parishes along with bus, train and airplane transportation provided by the state and a shift to the contraflow system that shifts traffic flow away from the hurricane's path."

"But, even for all that, a few stragglers remained in many New Orleans neighborhoods late Sunday, especially in the high-ground areas that didn't flood after Hurricane Katrina. Caseworkers for the homeless also said that hundreds, perhaps thousands, of homeless people may be holed up in the city's abandoned buildings."

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Published on Monday, September 1, 2008 in New Orleans Times Picayune
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