Superdome refugees to be evacuated to Astrodome

As late as yesterday afternoon, officials were still saying that non-critically ill refugees at New Orleans' Superdome would likely be there for up to a week. This morning Louisiana Gov. Kathleen Blanco announced they would be moved by bus to Houston, where many will be sheltered in Houston's Astrodome. "Time is of the essence," she said at a press conference that just concluded on WWL-TV. "It's critical that we move quickly."

Regarding the levee breach that has necessitated the immediate evacuations, Blanco said this in an earlier TV interview: "The challenge is an engineering nightmare," Blanco said on morning TV. "The National Guard has been dropping sandbags into it, but it's like dropping it into a black hole." [Read the WWL-TV post.]

The sense of urgency is heightened by fears that New Orleans may be hit this morning by a major southbound surge of water from the north side of Lake Pontchartrain, where hurricane winds pushed a great deal of water on Monday.

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