New Orleans Residents Head Home

But blackouts and shortages await returning evacuees
By Michael Foreman,  Newser User
Posted Sep 3, 2008 6:25 PM CDT
Traffic stacks up on Interstate 10 heading east as evacuees return to New Orleans today in the wake of Hurricane Gustav.    (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – All Hurricane Gustav evacuees are being allowed back into New Orleans after Mayor Ray Nagin abandoned a more drawn-out reentry plan, the Washington Post reports. Those returning had trouble locating supplies, and officials warned power outages would add to difficulties. "We'd like to say welcome back, but it's not the way we'd like to do it," one local official said.

Gustav knocked large segments of New Orleans off the grid, and repair crews are struggling to reconnect the city's emergency infrastructure. President Bush ordered federal aid for Louisiana, and called for utilities in neighboring states to pitch in. "We're much better coordinated this time than we were after Katrina," he said. "All in all, the response has been excellent." (Read more Hurricane Gustav stories.)