Progress made in New Orleans evacuation

Sept. 4, 2005 at 7:47 AM
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NEW ORLEANS, Sept. 4 (UPI) -- The evacuation of the Louisiana Superdome and the New Orleans Convention Center has been completed, with 42,000 people moved in one day.

However, Louisiana State Police Col. Henry Whitehorn told the New Orleans Times Picayune 2,000 people, many of them with serious medical problems, were still housed early Sunday inside Louis Armstrong International Airport.

Whitehorn said law enforcement agencies fielded about 1,000 distress 911 calls Saturday from people still trapped in attics of buildings surrounded by water. He said mayhem in the city had declined greatly with no reports of serious violence reported.

City and state officials were still unable to estimate the death toll from Hurricane Katrina, which hit the city six days ago.

President George Bush authorized the dispatch of 7,200 active-duty ground troops to the area, and the Pentagon announced an additional 10,000 National Guard troops will be sent to Louisiana and Mississippi, raising the total Guard contingent to about 40,000, The Washington Post said.

U.S. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and his top general were scheduled to visit New Orleans Sunday to review the recovery efforts, CNN said.

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