Hurricane Ivan Evacuees

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Evacuees from neighboring states are fleeing northward to escape the wrath of Hurricane Ivan.

Northbound U-S 49 between the Mississippi Gulf Coast and Jackson
was bumper-to-bumper today with people from Louisiana, Mississippi,
Alabama and Florida seeking refuge from the storm.

An estimated 260,000 people were leaving three Mississippi coastal counties. Hotels were booked solid as far north as Memphis, Tennessee.

Mobile, Alabama residents Debra Smith and Gina Klatt were traveling with their sons to Dallas -- the first place they could find a hotel room.

Smith said it took seven-and-a-half hours across crowded highways yesterday to get from Mobile to Hattiesburg, an 82-mile trip. She picked up her 18-year-old son at the University of Southern Mississippi, where classes have been canceled until Monday.

Smith said she spent last night sleeping in her car in a Wal-Mart parking lot in south Mississippi.