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Reporting from New Orleans

Journalists on the scene in New Orleans -- where things now seem to be deteriorating badly -- are doing their best under incredibly adverse conditions.
Here's a dispatch from the Times-Picayune blog, indicating that the newspaper building was being evacuated today. And it's worth checking out this blog for regular updates.

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"Water continues to rise around our building, as it is throughout the region. We want to evaucate our employees and families while we are still able to safely leave our building.

Our plan is to head across the Mississippi River on the Pontchartrain Expressway to the west bank of New Orleans and Jefferson Parish. From there, we'll try to head to Houma.

Our plan, obviously, is to resume providing news to our readers ASAP. Please refer back to this site for continuing information as soon as we are able to provide it."

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And here's a frightening account from CNN's intrepid David Mattingly in a conversation with anchor Kyra Phillips this afternoon.

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PHILLIPS: OK. Now I'm being told we have David Mattingly on the
phone. He's in downtown New Orleans. He might be able to pick up where
we left off with Jeanne Meserve. Jeanne Meserve talking about the
looting, talking about seeing smoke, some type of fire and basically
some issues concerning all those thousands of people inside the
Superdome, individuals that took refuge there after the hurricane hit
New Orleans.

It's getting hot in there. The toilets are overflowing. There is
obviously not enough help to tend to those people that are inside the
Superdome, even hearing of a man that has jumped to his death inside
that Superdome now.

You are starting to really get a feel for the emotional toll that
the aftermath is taking on these individuals affected by Hurricane
Katrina.

David Mattingly, tell me exactly where you are in New Orleans.

DAVID MATTINGLY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Kyra, we're on an on ramp,
normally what would be an on ramp to I-10 East to New Orleans, in the
Franklin Avenue area, if any of you are familiar with New Orleans.

What we have witnessed -- this ramp has been turned into a boat
launch, the Fish and Wildlife Service people for the state of Louisiana
have been launching their boats from here, going block by block, still
looking for people that have been trapped in their homes.

As you can see by the crowd of people behind me, there are still
plenty of people in their homes needing rescues. In fact, there was a
time when we could stand here on the overpass. Just when we got here,
we could still hear people calling for help. We went out with one state
employee, state contractor who had been out all last night. He said
that at times they found themselves unprepared to break into these homes
because people were trapped in their attics. They needed to cut their
way out.

He described one house where they actually used a boat anchor to
bang a hole through the plywood to rescue the people that were in that
house.

As far as today, what we are seeing, the boats that are coming in,
they're carrying people. You're seeing a lot of elderly people, a lot
of people who are sick. I spoke to one woman who needs dialysis
treatment very soon. I spoke to one woman. She is 88 years old. She
has high blood pressure. She is laying on a piece of wood that she was
laying on in the water while her husband stayed there in the floodwaters
with her. She's still laying on that piece of wood. That has become a
cot for her. She has a pillow under her head. We were able to give her
one bottle of water, which is all we had. But that's the only treatment
that she's received so far.

There are other people here, they are coming off the boats in
wheelchairs. They were sitting in water that was very nearly up to
their heads in some cases, rescued today.

So they were in that water all night long. And we were still
seeing, if you can believe this, which just -- I was absolutely
dumbfounded when I saw it -- there are still people in the upper floors
of some of these house, one man even sitting on his roof, that are
refusing rescue because they actually have seen the water go down a few
inches since this morning.

So they're looking at that as a sign of hope, but they're not
realizing there may not be another boat coming their way after the
water's gone, after any hope of rescue is gone. They just may still be
stuck in the upper floor or on the roof of their house.

Again, I hate to sound so dire, but there are some elderly people
here that are in need of medical attention. And once they come off the
boats, they're being placed on this on ramp to sit in the shade. It is
blazing hot out here. And there is very little shade.

So they're all sitting under the overpass. We've been -- some of
them have been waiting for quite a while for some sort of vehicle to
come and take them back to wherever shelter might be and that is
becoming a huge issue of where can we possibly take these people -- Kyra
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