New Orleans Residents Cleared to Return Tonight

Other Louisiana parishes allowing residents back today
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 3, 2008 3:36 AM CDT
Broch Batisle ties gas cans on the top of his SUV yesterday as he and his family prepare to return to their home near New Orleans.   (AP Photo/J. Pat Carter)
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(Newser) – People are returning to their southern Louisiana homes in the wake of a weaker-than-expected Hurricane Gustav, but New Orleans residents will need to wait until one minute before midnight, reports the Times-Picayune, running on an emergency generator. Mayor Ray Nagin warned the city is still "vulnerable" due to lack of power and medical personnel, but is allowing residents back in.

"This is not something I'm excited about," but "we don't have a lot of options," Nagin said. A city councilwoman, concerned about the lack of power and emergency services, called New Orleans "a miserable place to be right now." One long-time resident vowed: "I'll never leave again. It took me three weeks to get back home after Katrina."