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Mandatory Evacuation Begins in New Orleans

The mandatory evacuation of New Orleans ahead of Hurricane Gustav began Sunday morning, with residents on the city

People line up at an evacuation point in New Orleans, Saturday, Aug. 30, 2008, as Hurricane Gustav approaches the Gulf coast. Gustav strengthened into a Category 3 hurricane Saturday, and as city officials started evacuation plans, some residents weren't waiting to be told to leave. (AP Photo/Bill Haber)

NEW ORLEANS (AP) - The mandatory evacuation of New Orleans ahead of Hurricane Gustav began Sunday morning, with residents on the city's vulnerable West Bank told to start leaving first.

By noon, residents in the rest of the city were supposed to be out of their homes and heading to safety.

City officials were nervously watching Hurricane Gustav's track. The storm had picked up speed and was moving northwest at 16 mph with winds of 120 mph.

It was projected to make landfall as early Monday, and could bring a storm surge of up to 20 feet to the coast and rainfall totals of up to 15 inches.

Mayor Ray Nagin called Gustav "the mother of all storms," and says anyone ignoring calls to leave would be on their own.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)


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