Police and national guard are quite literally going door to door in New Orleans. In the parts of the city that escaped the flooding they are asking residents who have stayed behind to leave. Officers are enforcing a mandatory evacuation order from Mayor Ray Nagin. The survivors of hurricane Katrina are being told it is just not safe for them to stay behind with no power and no fresh water.
Many of those being shipped out are in a state of despair: . “I’m 61. This is like the beginning of my death,” said one man with a wry smile. Around 60 per cent of New Orleans is flooded. Experts say it could take months for it to be completely drained. Those being rescued from these areas are being told not to even touch the water, because it is so toxic.
Drifting waste, floating corpses and chemicals have allowed potentially deadly bacteria like e-coli to multiply quickly. With a handful of deaths already blamed on diseases borne by the floodwaters the evacuees are being told to take vaccination jabs. Authorities admit it may be difficult to reach those who could be at risk as they are scattered across the southern US.