Mayor Ray “Chocolate City” Nagin of New Orleans has finally realized it would be good if he took a little responsibility for his residents, and he’s called for a mandatory evacuation which kicked into effect at 8 this morning.

New Orleans ordered residents to evacuate the city as Hurricane Gustav was forecast to strike the U.S. Gulf Coast harder than Katrina did three years ago.

“Tonight you need to be scared; you need to get your butts out of New Orleans now,” Mayor Ray Nagin said at a press conference late yesterday. “This is the mother of all storms. I am not sure we have seen anything like it.”

Nagin is advising that should you choose to remain, you are on your own. Hospitals will be closed, police will be on skeleton staff, and  a curfew has been put in place. If you are found on the streets of New Orleans you will be considered “suspicious” and taken into custody. The Louisiana National Guard will be doing the bulk of the policing in the area.

If you remember, back in 2005, it wasn’t the hurricane itself that caused the problem. It was the after effect of rising water that broke the levees. Since then, the Corps of Engineers has done billions of dollars of work to rebuild and reinforce those walls. Has it been enough?  We’ll know in a few days. In the meantime, Nagin is not taking the laissez-faire attitude he took in 2005. He knows that the eyes of the country are on him to take action as the first line of defense.

Hurricane Gustav – Video