After an exhausting week maintaining order and rescuing survivors of Hurricane Katrina, many of New Orleans’ essential personnel are finally getting some rest. The city 's mayor has issued a simple message to other residents who could have left, but chose not to.
New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin is telling people who have not already left the city, “It's time to go.” Tuesday, Mayor Nagin instructed law enforcement officials to forcibly remove anyone who will not leave the city voluntarily.
"This is not a safe environment. I understand the spirit is, 'I don't want to abandon my city,’ but it's okay," said the mayor.
The long process of pumping water out of the city continues. Sixty percent of New Orleans is still underwater. Authorities are also dealing with many fires believed to be arsons. Helicopters are employing techniques usually used to fight forest fires to douse the flames.
Exhausted New Orleans firefighters and rescue workers are finally getting a respite. They're spending the next few days in the resort city of Las Vegas.
Many of them say they want to experience some normalcy, following the chaos. Rescue worker Chris Teller says, "Every time we made trips into the city to rescue people they just had gangs of thugs and things like that and they would shoot at us. It made getting out to do any type of rescue impossible."
The city's police officers are also getting a well-deserved break. They will spend five days in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, where they will receive medical and psychiatric treatment. In their absence, U.S. marshals will patrol the streets.