La. National Guard to lead evacuations

Feb. 20, 2009 at 8:36 PM

NEW ORLEANS, Feb. 20 (UPI) -- The Louisiana National Guard will coordinate moving evacuees during the state's next mandatory hurricane evacuation, officials said.

The Guard will specifically help those who rely on public transportation to reach inland shelters, The (New Orleans) Times-Picayune reported Friday.

Department of Social Services Secretary Kristy Nichols said putting a National Guard colonel in charge will help make the operation move more smoothly.

"We will benefit greatly from the military expertise in logistics," she said.

During last year's Hurricane Gustav evacuation, logistical problems made it difficult to keep track of evacuees on buses. Public transportation handled about 30,000 evacuees for Hurricane Gustav, the newspaper said.

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