by Kevin Caruso
September 6, 2005
Many New Orleans residents are still refusing to leave the city despite a standing mandatory evacuation order and warnings from government officials that staying may jeopardize their health.
"It's absolutely unhealthy to be anywhere near the water," said one official.
Ray Nagin, the Mayor of New Orleans, said that he wanted everyone out of the city "because it's a health risk."
"I understand wanting to stay in their homes, not wanting to give up on New Orleans. I have resisted the urge to go visit my own home. I know it's under water. But we have a very volatile situation. There's lots of oil on the water, gas leaks where it's bubbling up, and there's fire on top. If those two unite, God bless us," said Nagin.
"Leave for a little while. Let us get you to a better place, and let us clean it up. Once we clean it up, I promise everybody, we will bring you back to a city that is clean and safe, " he added.
Nagin is also extremely worried about the residents that refuse to leave because many of them are elderly and in desperate need of medical emergency medical care.
Additionally, many reporters working in the city have said that some of the holdout residents have pinkeye and other noticeable disease sypmtons.