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Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Water Receding Noticeably In New Orleans

More good news.

In a herculean task that could take months, engineers struggled to pump out the flooded city Tuesday, and the filthy waters were dropping noticeably. "I'm
starting to see rays of light," the mayor said.

The Pentagon, meanwhile, began sending paratroopers from the Army's storied 82nd Airborne Division to New Orleans to use small boats, including inflatable Zodiac craft, to launch a new search-and-rescue effort in flooded sections of the city. Maj. Gen. William B. Caldwell IV, division commander, said about 5,000 paratroopers would be in place by Tuesday.

Nagin said some dry sections of the city may have running water within 36 hours.

Patrick Rhode, deputy director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, said evacuees would receive debit cards so that they could begin buying necessary personal items. He said the agency was going from shelter to shelter to make sure that evacuees received cards quickly and that the paperwork usually required would be reduced or eliminated.

The leader of troops patrolling New Orleans declared the city largely free of the lawlessness that plagued it in the days following the hurricane.

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