Sunday, August 31, 2008

Hurricane Gustav Evacuations Ordered

Hurricane Gustav at 14:15 UTC, 8/31/08

(Southeast Louisiana) New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin ordered mandatory evacuation last night. Nagin called Gustav the "mother of all storms." Assisted evacuation will continue until later this afternoon. Plans are to close the New Orleans International Airport at 6 PM.

As of 2 PM today, an estimated 1.1 million people have evacuated southern Louisiana. According to State Police Superintendent Mike Edmonson, 90 to 95 percent of coastal Louisiana residents have evacuated. Notably, reports are that traffic flow has been smooth and contraflow (all lanes, same direction) has been suspended on some sections of road.

The communities on the West Bank of the Mississippi River (i.e. Gretna, Marrero, Algiers, Harvey) were ordered evacuated earlier this morning in preparation for the arrival of Hurricane Gustav.

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Jefferson Parish website [pdf file]
Public Assisted Evacuation Plan

• Government assisted evacuation of the general public, the elderly, the handicapped, the medical needy, and their pets
• When mandatory evacuation is called by Parish President
• Transit Buses will begin to run pre- designated evacuation routes
• The buses will deliver people to one of two parish pick up points (PPP)

Evacuees Boarding Buses

• One suitcase no larger than 30”X 16”
• No pets unless placed in cage or kennel
• No weapons-Guns, Knives, Mace, etc.
• No illegal drugs or substances
• No alcohol
• No ice chest except those smaller than one gallon
• No chairs, large radios unless contained within the 30”X 16”suitcase
• No smoking on bus at anytime

St. Bernard Parish
- Mandatory evacuation in effect since 4 PM yesterday.
- No shelters will be available in St. Bernard Parish.
- Evacuees should go to "the Vidalia, Bunkie or Marksville locations as they are deemed the safest at this time." (location list is here)
- Roads into the parish have been closed
- Aggressive police patrols have been instituted.
- Curfew will be set, times TBD.
- Residents warned that parish officials will not assist in rescue efforts during the hurricane.

St. Charles Parish
- Mandatory evacuation order issued.
- Those needing assisted evacuation should contact EOC at (985) 783-5050 IMMEDIATELY.
- Sandbag operations continue, bring shovels to any one of 37 locations (list at
- Storm surge anticipated to be between 9 and 13 feet.
- All pump stations are fueled and manned by a small group of St. Charles Parish most hardy public servants.
- EOC is activated, fully-staffed and answering incoming calls
- Garbage pickup has been suspended, schools are closed until at least Thursday.
- Parish updates will be broadcast on Cable Channel 6, WWL-870 AM and 1370 AM.

Plaquemines Parish
Officials announced Saturday that the parish will go into "lockdown" at 6 p.m. today. Barricades will go up at all access roads, and no one will be allowed to enter the parish, Maj. John Marie of the Sheriff's Office said.

A curfew also will be in effect from 10 p.m. today until 5 a.m. Sunday for everyone except residents trying to evacuate. Anyone found off private property will be stopped and questioned and could be arrested and sent to state correctional facilities at Hunt, St. Gabriel or Angola, Marie said.
Contraflow has likely been ordered for all evacuation routes by the time of this posting.

Also: The Jawa Report

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