NEW ORLEANS -- Mayor Ray Nagin is ordering the mandatory evacuation of New Orleans, turning informal advice to flee from the approaching Hurricane Gustav into an official order to get out.
Nagin said Saturday that the evacuation becomes mandatory at 8 a.m. Sunday on the city's vulnerable west bank. It becomes mandatory on the east bank at noon.
The announcement comes as officials continued to evacuate the elderly, disabled, poor and others without means ahead of Gustav's march toward the Gulf Coast.
Officials began putting an estimated 30,000 of such residents on buses and trains Saturday morning, as Nagin also called on all tourists to leave.
Nagin stopped short of calling for a mandatory evacuation late Friday, saying residents should start making plans to leave the city over the next few days.
Nagin: "You need to be scared. You need to be concerned, and you need to get your butts moving out of New Orleans right now. This is the storm of the century."
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