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article imageNew Orleans' mayor Ray Nagin calls Hurricane Gustav 'the storm of the century'

By Chris V. Thangham     Aug 31, 2008 in Environment
The mayor of New Orleans, Ray Nagin, wants his residents to evacuate the entire city before the “storm of the century” known as Hurricane Gustav hits the already battered region.
Hurricane Gustav is increasing its intensity as it heads across the Gulf Coast and will achieve Category 5 status as it hits New Orleans. KJ's article has more details about Hurrican Gustav.
Mayor ay Nagin calls Hurricane Gustav the “storm of the century” and gave mandatory evacuation orders in the city and wants every resident to leave New Orleans by Sunday. He asked the city’s West Bank to move out at 0800 (1300 GMT) on Sunday, and the East Bank residents to leave at midday (1700 GMT).
Nagin said he doesn’t take the storm for granted, and if anyone wants to stay in New Orleans, they have to manage on their own. There will be no emergency services in the city for the next few days, so whoever wants help will have to fend for themselves.
Nagin said in the press conference:
If you are stubborn enough, if you are not taking this as seriously as we need you to take it, and if you decide to stay; you are on your own."
"Anyone who decides to stay, I'll say it like I said it before Katrina: make sure you have an axe, because you will be carving your way, or busting your way out of your attic to get on your roof with waters that you will be surrounded with in this event,"
There will be 15,000 National Guard troops to protect the evacuated homes from looting.
The storm has moved into the Gulf of Mexico, currently has maximum sustained winds of nearly 240 km/h (150 mph) and may increase even further in intensity.
Also, a hurricane watch was enforced along North Gulf Coast from Texas to Alabama/Florida border.
Nagin told reporters that he hasn’t seen anything like Hurricane Gustav, which is expected to hit New Orleans either on Monday or Tuesday. It is considered to be more powerful than Hurricane Katrina, which killed more than 1,800 and caused hundreds of billions of dollars in damages.
The mayor apparently has learned his lesson from Katrina and is ordering a full evacuation including the members of the emergency services. Only the National Guard troops and some city workers will remain in the city.
Thousands of people are already leaving the city even before the evacuation order and more will leave soon.
The Republican Party may postpone their National Convention because of Hurricane Gustav.
So far Hurricane Gustav has claimed more than 80 people in the Caribbean as it swept through Haiti, the Dominican Republic and Jamaica and has caused widespread damage this week.
If you are in New Orleans or in neighboring states where Gustav is going to hit, it is better to evacuate and move to a safer area.
More about Nagin, Hurrican gustav, Storm
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