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1.2M in New Orleans area warned to flee Ivan

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AP) - More than 1.2 million people in metropolitan New Orleans were warned to get out Tuesday as 140-mph Hurricane Ivan churned toward the Gulf Coast, threatening to submerge this below-sea-level city in what could be the most disastrous storm to hit in nearly 40 years. Residents streamed inland in bumper-to-bumper traffic in an agonizingly slow exodus amid dire warnings that Ivan could overwhelm New Orleans with up to 20 feet of filthy, chemical-polluted water.

About three-quarters of a million more people along the coast in Florida, Mississippi and Alabama were also told to evacuate.

Forecasters said Ivan, a killer blamed for at least 68 deaths in the Caribbean, could reach 160 mph and strengthen to Category 5, the highest level, by the time it blows ashore as early as Thursday somewhere along the Gulf Coast.

"Hopefully the house will still be here when we get back," said Tara Chandra, a doctor at Tulane University in New Orleans who packed up his car, moved plants indoors and tried to book a Houston hotel room. Chandra said he wanted to ride out the storm, but his wife wanted to evacuate: "All the news reports are kind of freaking her out."

At nearly 200 miles wide, Ivan could cause significant damage no matter where it strikes. Officials ordered or strongly urged an estimated 1.9 million people to flee in a 330-mile danger zone stretching across four states, from Morgan City and New Orleans in Louisiana to St. Marks in the Florida Panhandle.

"I beg people on the coast: Do not ride this storm out," Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour said, urging people in other parts of the state to open their homes to relatives, friends and co-workers.

As of 5 p.m., Ivan was about 370 miles southeast of the mouth of the Mississippi River, moving northwest at about 9 mph.

Full Article

They really need to build a sea wall. Maybe raise the city as well, that's what Galvaston did. Of course that was after the hurricane that killed thousands.

ph34r.gif

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Direct Hit by Ivan Could Sink New Orleans

NEW ORLEANS - The worst-case scenario for New Orleans — a direct strike by a full-strength Hurricane Ivan — could submerge much of this historic city treetop-deep in a stew of sewage, industrial chemicals and fire ants, and the inundation could last for weeks, experts say.

If the storm were strong enough, Ivan could drive water over the tops of the levees that protect the city from the Mississippi River and vast Lake Pontchartrain. And with the city sitting in a saucer-shaped depression that dips as much as 9 feet below sea level, there would be nowhere for all that water to drain.

Even in the best of times, New Orleans depends on a network of canals and huge pumps to keep water from accumulating inside the basin.

"Those folks who remain, should the city flood, would be exposed to all kinds of nightmares from buildings falling apart to floating in the water having nowhere to go," Ivor van Heerden, director of Louisiana State University's Hurricane Public Health Center, said Tuesday.

LSU's hurricane experts have spent years developing computer models and taking surveys to predict what might happen.

The surveys predict that about 300,000 of the 1.6 million people living in the metropolitan area would risk staying.

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i told my aunt and cousins that if they didnt get outta new orleans now i will personlly drive down there and haul em up to MA my flippin self!...they are on there way now.... crying.gifcrying.gif i pray that everyone leaves new orleans....sad.gif

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Lets just hope that new orleans doesn`t get hit, they are in such a bad position, it must be so horrfiying for the people there.

Dancing dumplings, I hope your family gets out in time and my thoughts will be with them and all those poor souls in New Orleans.

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Southern US braced for hurricane

Hundreds of thousands have been told to leave their homes along the southern coast of the US, as a huge storm churns northwards across the Gulf of Mexico.

Hurricane Ivan is expected to land between Louisiana and Florida on Thursday, after a devastating sweep through the Caribbean.

The residents of low-lying New Orleans have been told to get to higher ground.

The city has not been directly hit by a major hurricane since 1965, when it was left under 7 feet (2 metres) of water.

At 2100 GMT Ivan's centre was about 370 miles (600 km) south-east of the Mississippi river.

Although it weakened after brushing past Cuba on Monday, the category-four hurricane still has winds of up to 140 mph (225 km/h) and is dumping 8-12 in (20-30cm) of rain.

It is not clear where it will hit the US.

Vulnerable

A state of emergency is in force along a 300-mile swath (480 km) from Louisiana to the Florida panhandle.

New Orleans in Louisiana - the largest US city below sea level - is particularly vulnerable.

In 1965 Hurricane Betsy, a weaker storm than Ivan, was blamed for 74 deaths there.

On Tuesday highways out of the city were blocked as people fled.

"Hopefully the house will still be there when we get back," New Orleans resident Tara Chandra told the Associated Press news agency as he packed up his car.

Almost two million people in four states have been told to leave coastal areas.

"I beg people on the coast: Do not ride this storm out," Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour said.

Ivan killed about 70 people in the Caribbean.

Florida has already borne the brunt of two hurricanes this season.

Oil prices rose nearly $1.50 a barrel on Monday as oil and natural gas producers evacuated rigs in the Gulf of Mexico.

Heavy damage

Meanwhile the clear-up operation in areas already hit by the hurricane continued.

There was a mass evacuation of western areas of Cuba, but the island escaped with minimal damage after the centre of the storm barely touched land.

In the Cayman Islands - a British dependency - Governor Bruce Dinwiddy described the damage as "very, very severe and widespread".

A quarter of Grand Cayman island was still under water, a British minister said on Tuesday, announcing that plastic sheeting, cots and water purification equipment would be sent to the British dependency.

On Tuesday morning the British Royal Navy's HMS Richmond hung off the coast of the Cayman Islands, but was still unable to dock because of heavy seas.

The charity Oxfam said it was flying emergency workers to Grenada and Jamaica to provide assistance.

The organisation's engineer Tim Forster, on the island of Grenada, said: "This is the worst devastation I have ever witnessed.

"Ninety percent of houses have been torn to pieces and there is waste strewn across the whole island."

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/americas/3655550.stm

And here's a nice piece of footage for you tongue.gif

user posted image

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Americans flee as hurricane nears

Hundreds of thousands of people are evacuating their homes along the southern US coast, as Hurricane Ivan heads inland from the Gulf of Mexico.

A state of emergency has been declared in Florida, Louisiana and Alabama, and nearly two million people have been urged to flee to higher ground.

Major roads out are jammed with traffic and ports and airports have closed.

The hurricane is expected to land on Thursday, after spreading devastation across the Caribbean for a week.

At 0300 GMT, Ivan's centre was about 295 miles (475 km) south-south-east of the Mississippi River and moving at 12mph (19km/h).

Forecasters say the 140 mph (225 km/h) category four winds could strengthen on Wednesday, then weaken slightly as the storm nears the coast.

The exact place where Ivan will hit the US is likely to change in the coming hours.

Deluge threat

The state of emergency is in force along a 300-mile swathe (480 km) from Louisiana to the Florida panhandle.

"I beg people on the coast: Do not ride this storm out," said Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour.

New Orleans in Louisiana - the largest US city below sea level - is particularly vulnerable.

The BBC's Michael Buchanan in Washington says experts are warning that a direct hit on New Orleans could devastate the city for weeks.

Interstate 10, the main route out of New Orleans, is clogged with traffic, while only emergency vehicles are heading into Ivan's predicted path.

"Hopefully the house will still be there when we get back," New Orleans resident Tara Chandra told the Associated Press news agency as he packed up his car.

In 1965 Hurricane Betsy, a weaker storm than Ivan, was blamed for 74 deaths there.

Florida, which is still mopping up from two hurricanes over the past month, was bracing itself again.

"If we get the kind of tidal surge they are saying, the fishing boats are all going to be in the trees," bar owner Jamee Lowry, of Perdido Key, Florida, told AP.

Oil prices rose nearly $1.50 a barrel on Monday as oil and natural gas producers evacuated rigs in the Gulf of Mexico.

Island damage

Meanwhile the clear-up operation in areas already hit by the hurricane continued.

There was a mass evacuation of western areas of Cuba, but the island escaped with minimal damage after the centre of the storm barely touched land.

In the Cayman Islands - a British dependency - Governor Bruce Dinwiddy described the damage as "very, very severe and widespread".

A quarter of Grand Cayman island is still under water, a British minister said on Tuesday, announcing that plastic sheeting, cots and water purification equipment would be sent to the British dependency.

Tim Forster, of the UK charity Oxfam, on the island of Grenada, said: "This is the worst devastation I have ever witnessed.

"Ninety percent of houses have been torn to pieces and there is waste strewn across the whole island."

Ivan killed about 70 people in the Caribbean

user posted image

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/americas/3655550.stm

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Press: Castro conquers Ivan

In Havana, the close shave that Cuba experienced as Hurricane Ivan passed by dominates the country's two daily newspapers.

But the lead story in both is not the damage that the storm caused but the role Fidel Castro played in unifying the country in the face of danger.

"Fidel, alongside the people of Pinar", is the headline in Granma. It describes how Fidel Castro made a surprise visit to Cuba's western-most province, Pinar del Rio, as Ivan approached.

The paper has a large picture of the Cuban president in his military fatigues meeting the press at a hurricane shelter.

Granma is the official paper of Cuba's Communist Party and it is incidentally named after the boat in which Fidel Castro returned to Cuba in the 1950s to start the Cuban revolution.

It runs to eight pages, has no advertising and costs just under half a British penny.

Smooth evacuation

Around two-thirds of Wednesday's edition covers the hurricane. Fidel Castro is quoted as saying that the natural phenomenon is going to become more frequent as global warming is now a reality.

There are lots of references to how Hurricane Ivan has given Cubans an opportunity to triumph in the face of adversity.

Much attention is given to the evacuation of 1.6 million people to safety as the storm approached.

Cuba has perfected a system with which to confront such dangers, says the paper.

Juventud Ribelde, Cuba's other daily newspaper, which is aimed at a younger readership, takes an almost identical line.

It has a different picture of Fidel Castro on the front page but almost exactly the same headline as Granma.

Cuba's world view

On its international news page it covers three stories: political reform in Russia, the possible trial of General Pinochet in Chile and also alongside a large photograph of protesters at the recent Republican convention in New York, a piece about election monitors preparing to travel to the US expecting irregularities, as it says, in the forthcoming elections.

In an opinion column, the paper notes that 1,000 US soldiers have died Iraq, something it says the US media has maintained a suspicious silence about.

There is little light relief, it has to be said, in either paper although many Cubans might perhaps raise a smile when they see the photograph on the back page of Granma.

It shows the protester at Buckingham Palace in his Batman suit. The caption reads that once again British security has been ridiculed.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/americas/3658410.stm

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But the lead story in both is not the damage that the storm caused but the role Fidel Castro played in unifying the country in the face of danger.

Well, good for Castro unifying the people and all.

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user posted image

One of the many animals evacuated from Florida during Hurricane Charley sits in the Houston SPCA shelter waiting to be adopted Tuesday, Sept. 14, 2004 in Houston. Almost 200 dogs and cats, some left homeless in Florida by Hurricane Charley, were taken to the shelter in Houston and others were en route Tuesday from Louisiana where authorities feared shelters there would be inundated by the killer winds and waves of Hurricane Ivan, swirling in the Gulf of Mexico.

Another sad effect of the hurricanes. crying.gif

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Let it be known that days ago when the hurricane forecasters were predicting that Ivan would hit Pensacola, I said that it would probably hit the Mississippi coast as a Camile like storm.

Just for the record.

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sad.gif A lot of hotels that normally don't take animals are accepting them for now. thumbsup.gif

There is no way I would leave mine behind and go to a shelter where they're not. disgust.gif There are a lot of people in my area in from Florida and lot of places have set up makeshift campgrounds in parking lots, fields, etc... Many of them came with their pets.

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Hurricane Ivan looms over US

Heavy rains and strong rains have begun lashing the southern coast of the United States as Hurricane Ivan roars inland from the Gulf of Mexico.

The giant storm is expected to sweep through Louisiana, Alabama and north-west Florida in the next few hours.

Major roads were jammed as hundreds of thousands of people evacuated homes, and ports and airports were closed.

Hurricane Ivan has already killed more than 60 people and left a trail of destruction across the Caribbean.

At the same time, the Caribbean is on renewed alert as Tropical Storm Jeanne threatens Puerto Rico.

State of emergency

At 2100 GMT, Ivan's centre was about 125 miles (201 kms) south of the Alabama coastline, and was moving north at around 14mph (22km/h).

Ivan is expected to make land as a "major" category three or higher, with winds at around 135mph (217km/h), said the Miami-based National Hurricane Center.

A state of emergency has been declared in Florida, Louisiana and Alabama and nearly two million people have been urged to flee to higher ground.

The BBC's Daniela Relph, reporting from the Louisiana-Alabama border, says there is a real sense of unease and even fear among many people living in the area.

Deluge threat

The state of emergency is in force along a 300-mile (480-km) swathe from Louisiana to the Florida panhandle.

"I beg people on the coast: do not ride this storm out," said Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour.

New Orleans in Louisiana - the largest US city below sea level - is particularly vulnerable.

The BBC's Michael Buchanan in Washington says experts are warning that a direct hit on New Orleans could devastate the city for weeks.

Interstate 10, the main route out of New Orleans, is clogged with traffic, while only emergency vehicles are heading into Ivan's predicted path.

"Hopefully the house will still be there when we get back," New Orleans resident Tara Chandra told the Associated Press news agency as he packed up his car.

In 1965 Hurricane Betsy, a weaker storm than Ivan, was blamed for 74 deaths there.

Florida, which is still mopping up from two hurricanes over the past month, was bracing itself again.

"If we get the kind of tidal surge they are saying, the fishing boats are all going to be in the trees," bar owner Jamee Lowry of Perdido Key, Florida, told AP.

Oil prices rose nearly $1.50 a barrel on Monday as oil and natural gas producers evacuated rigs in the Gulf of Mexico.

Island damage

Hurricane warnings are in effect in Puerto Rico, the US Virgin Islands and parts of the Dominican Republic as the latest storm Hurricane Jeanne approaches.

Meanwhile, the clear-up operation in areas already hit by Ivan continue.

Jamaican officials said the military was searching for more than 30 fishermen feared missing after the island was hit last Friday.

There was a mass evacuation of western areas of Cuba, but the island escaped with minimal damage after the centre of the storm barely touched land.

An overnight curfew remains in effect in the Cayman Islands, where the hurricane wrought havoc on Sunday.

Flood waters are now receding on Grand Cayman island, the Caymans' representative in London told the BBC's Caribbean Service on Wednesday, while dozens of people are still missing in the British dependency, according to reports.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/americas/3661040.stm

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