New Orleans authorities urge evacuees to stay away

New Orleans authorities urge evacuees to stay away

New Orleans authorities urge evacuees to stay away

Updated 19 December 2011, 13:08 AEDT

Authorities in New Orleans have urged almost two million evacuees to stay away from the Gulf Coast for another day after Hurricane Gustav crossed the coast.

The Mayor Ray Nagin says with powerlines down all over the city, now is not a good time to return.

"Right now the last bit of storm concern I have is with the rain and also there's supposed to be another storm surge on the west bank near the harbour canal which is one of our weak points," he said.

"Other than that its just a matter of getting the city ready to receive our citizens again".

Gustav, which has weakened to a tropical storm, is expected to slow further as it moves north across Louisiana and into Texas.