New Orleans Evacuates Ahead of Katrina

8-28-05 - As Hurricane Katrina churns toward New Orleans, the city's mayor is calling the storm a "once in a lifetime event." Early Sunday, he ordered all residents to evacuate the city.

Mayor Ray Nagin says the Big Easy has never been directly hit by
a hurricane with Katrina's magnitude. The Category Five storm has
winds of nearly 175 miles per hour.

The mayor has ordered a mandatory evacuation and says police and
firefighters will fan out throughout New Orleans telling residents to get out.

Still, authorities acknowledge some people might not be able to leave in time. People can opt to go to the Superdome, but they're being told to come with enough food and supplies to last three to five days.

Louisiana's governor says President Bush personally appealed for
a mandatory evacuation for the low-lying city, which is prone to flooding and relies on levees to protect it from surrounding water
even when weather conditions are normal.

Katrina is the 11th named storm of the Atlantic hurricane season, which began June 1. That's seven more than typically have formed by now in the Atlantic, Caribbean and Gulf of Mexico, the hurricane center said. The season ends Nov. 30.


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