Some 700,000 people in Louisiana are still without power as the city of
New Orleans and surrounding areas work to restore electricity that was
disrupted from the winds associated with Hurricane Gustav that roared
into the state on Monday. VOA's Barry Wood reports from New Orleans.
thousands who departed the city in advance of the storm could not yet
return home. Under pressure from surrounding municipalities as well as
evacuees living in distress conditions far from home, Nagin said
residents of the city can come back at once.
"Anyone who has an
I.D., and I.D; you must have some kind of identification that says
you're going to either one of the parishes (districts) in the
metropolitan area or going into New Orleans, you'll be cleared to
return to your homes," he said.
Nagin had wanted most residents
to remain outside the city until electricity and other essential
services had been restored. Power has still not been restored to areas
in the city where 80,000 people live. Many street lights and signs are
down and fallen trees have not all been cleared away.
Bush visited (Wednesday) the Louisiana state capitol at Baton Rouge,
which was hard hit by Hurricane Gustav. Commending national, state and
local authorities for their quick response to the storm, Bush said
restoring electricity is the top priority. "One of the key things that
needs to happen is they've got to get electricity up here in Louisiana.
You're moving as fast as possible. The Governor understands it's a
problem, his team understands it's a problem, and I understand it's a
problem," he said.
There were dire predictions that Gustav would
be as bad or worse as Katrina, which left over 1400 people dead and 80
percent of New Orleans flooded. In the end, the evacuation of nearly
two million people and a weakening storm that reached landfall to the
west spared the city from much destruction.