Officials declaring state of emergency in New Orleans as storm nears

NEW ORLEANS (AP) -- Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal is declaring a state of emergency and activating the National Guard in advance of storm Gustav.

The storm could crash ashore on the Gulf Coast sometime over the Labor Day weekend as a perilous Category 3 hurricane, though forecasters caution it's difficult to predict the storm's path this early.

Jindal says 3,000 National Guard troops will be activated and deployed a day in advance of the storm's expected landfall. An additional 2,000 troops could be called up to duty.

About 300 guard troops are already in New Orleans, working with New Orleans police to patrol neighborhoods still devastated from Hurricane Katrina in 2005.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)


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