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We've got a lot of work to do, says Bobby Jindal

September 03, 2008 17:14 IST

Indian-American Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal, in spotlight as attention focuses on his state's response to Hurricane Gustav, has said thousands of people who had left their homes following evacuation orders may be able to return in the next few days.

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"People should be able to return home over the next several days. Within 24 hours of telling us they're ready, we can reverse the trains and buses and planes that took them out of harm's way," Jindal said, adding that tremendous amount of work is still left to be done in the state.

Expressing happiness that people followed evacuation orders, which prevented a repeat of the 2005 Katrina disaster, the 37-year old said removing the debris and reinstating the ravaged power facilities were the prime focus of the state now.

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"Unlike 2005, we are not reporting mass fatalities. The reality is that the people listened. Over 95 per cent of our people left coastal Louisiana -- the largest ever evacuation in our country's history," Jindal said in an interview with CNN.

"We've got a lot of work ahead of us. Now we're dealing with debris cleanup and getting power back to our people" Jindal, once considered a potential running mate of Republican Presidential nominee John McCain, said.

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Authorities are still monitoring the implications of Hurricane Gustav, with President George W Bush freeing up federal funds to a number of areas in the Gulf Coast that were ravaged by the Hurricane, bringing back memories of Katrina that claimed 1600 lives three years ago.

"Over a million people without power. That means dozens of hospitals and nursing homes. That means water and sewer systems aren't up and running in dozens of communities. There's a lot more work to do," Jindal said. 

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