[Mayor Ray] Nagin said [New Orleans] would have to be abandoned while the levees are repaired and the city is drained. He called for a “total evacuation,” adding: “We have to. The city will not be functional for two or three months.”
Total recovery appeared to be far more remote. Officials of the Army Corps of Engineers said it would be weeks or months before the city could be pumped dry, and that it would take years to rebuild its thousands of homes and businesses, its streets, highways and other infrastructure.
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