New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin declared a state of emergency on Sunday and ordered a mandatory evacuation of the city as Hurricane Katrina churned toward the city with maximum sustained winds of nearly 175 mph. All of Orleans Parish falls under the order except for necessary personnel in government, emergency and some other public service categories.
People who are unable to evacuate were told to immediately report to a designated shelter.
"I wish I had better news for you, but we are facing a storm that most of us have feared," Nagin said. "I do not want to create panic, but I do want the citizens to understand that this is very serious and it's of the highest nature."
Louisiana Gov. Kathleen Blanco said that President Bush had called and urged the state to order the evacuation.
Just imagine if he hadn't.
Queer that Bush made the call with his urgent recommendation early on Sat and the decison to act was not untill 24 hours later on Sunday. Nagin's bomb throwing increasingly appears to be a desperate attempt to divert atention from his probable incompetence.
Update: MAYOR CRITICIZED
The criticisms of Nagin came from above as well. Numerous officials urged him to evacuate the city, but he worried about the legality of ordering people out when New Orleans has few safe hurricane shelters. Also, National Hurricane Center Director Max Mayfield in Miami called Nagin at home Saturday night and told him: Get people out of New Orleans.
''I could never sleep if I felt like I didn't do everything that I could to impress upon people the gravity of the situation,'' Mayfield said. ``New Orleans is never going to be the same.''
It appears that if hadn't been for the urging of Bush, Mayfield and a few others Nagin wouldn't have evacuated and 100s of 1000s would have likely perished.
Update II: On CNN just now, New Orleans Mayor Nagin, in an interview segment, (paraphrasing) said he has been yelling at the President and the Governor, and for all he knows, the "CIA could take me out".
Talk about a textbook example of paranoid narcissism coupled with delusions. Mr Nagin better forget about the CIA and focus his attention on the increasing liklihood of one of his constituents taking him out.