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August 31

• President Bush flies over the Gulf Coast in Air Force One to survey the damage. He later announces a major federal mobilization to help the victims.

• The entire region is declared a public health emergency amid fears of diseases that could spread because of the contaminated, stagnant water.

• Evacuations from the Louisiana Superdome to the Houston Astrodome begin. About 20,000 people are expected to be transferred from New Orleans to Houston.

• When asked about the number of dead, New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin replies, "Minimum, hundreds. Most likely, thousands."