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Mayor Orders Mandatory Evacuation of New Orleans 712

Pickens writes "City officials ordered everyone to leave New Orleans beginning Sunday morning — the first mandatory evacuation since Hurricane Katrina flooded the city three years ago — as Hurricane Gustav grew into what the city's mayor called 'the storm of the century' and moved toward the Louisiana coast. 'This is the real deal. This is not a test. For everyone thinking they can ride this storm out, I have news for you: that will be one of the biggest mistakes you can make in your life,' said New Orleans mayor, C. Ray Nagin. Already, hundreds of thousands of residents had begun streaming north from New Orleans and other Gulf Coast areas stretching from the Florida Panhandle to Houston. Bush administration officials took pains not to be caught as flatfooted as they were in Hurricane Katrina, announcing that President Bush had called governors in the region to assure them of assistance and that top federal emergency officials were in the region to guide the response. 'We could see flooding that is worse than what we saw with Katrina,' said Louisiana Governor Jindal." The US Geological Survey will be running a real-time "Map of Hydrologic Impacts" to monitor flood levels, and the National Weather Service has charted direction and wind-speed probabilities. Reader technix4beos points out the need for IRC transcription of FEMA and NOAA feeds.

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