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Navy Sending Ships to Gulf Coast

August 30, 2005

WASHINGTON (AP) _ The Navy is sending three ships to the Gulf Coast with water and other supplies for those hit by Hurricane Katrina, but officials are urging service members not to try to return to their military bases in New Orleans.

Navy bases in Gulfport, Miss., and New Orleans were evacuated and suffered heavy flooding and wind damage. Officials are gearing up to fly over the bases to get a detailed assessment of the damages.

Meanwhile, Rear Adm. George Mayer, commander of Navy Region South, issued a statement extending the evacuation for Naval Air Station New Orleans and the naval support base there, saying only personnel specifically contacted for the recovery effort should go back to the city.

The two bases were flooded, with as much as three feet of water, and there was no power or utilities.

In Gulfport, many of the buildings were damaged.

The three amphibious ships will be leaving from Norfolk, Va., in the next few days. The Pensacola Naval Air Station in Florida will be a base for the relief effort.

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