Granted, some people could not leave New Orleans, because they were physically unableto do so. But that does not make up the entire population of New Orleans, or a majorityof it. Many of these people may live in poverty, but they still have some money availableto them. Is it that difficult for people to pool their money together, and just leave? I'msure that people have at least one family friend that has a working vehicle. Gather your funds together, and escape Katrina. These families maybe on the roads for a few extrahours, but at least they will be out of harm's way. Let’s assume that they don't even havea vehicle to help them. People can still walk, assuming their legs aren't broken. All theyhad to do was walk westward. By vehicle, it takes 4 hours to get to Beaumont, Texas.Even if people had only made it half way out of the state, they still would have beensafer. Heaven forbid that a person may have to walk. Granted, they may not havesomewhere to stay, but at least families will be out of the carnage of the storm. Whywould anyone travel north? That was the direction the storm was heading. If you aregoing to try and out-run the storm, then that just shows a person's true ignorance.Also, many of you seem to forget that New Orleans was not the hardest hit city.Gulfport, Mississippi is no longer in existence. 90 percent of the city is no longer standing. New Orleans was not directly hit by the storm. Maybe more of you should befocusing your attention to the residents of Gulfport, where they don't have a city to returnto, unlike the residents of New Orleans.Another problem with all of your arguments is that you keep quoting that 30 percent of the population exists below the poverty line. Once again, you are incorrect. Only 23 percent exist below the poverty line, according the U.S. Census Bureau. Since the population of New Orleans was 484,674 in 2000, that equates to 111,475 people live below the poverty line. The United States determines the poverty line to be $18,000annual income for a family of four. So if 40,000 people were trapped in the Superdome,them what happened to the other 70,000 plus people? All of them were below the poverty line as well. Maybe they were just smart enough to leave, unlike those that choseto wait it out. Maybe they decided it was best not to buy the handfuls of lottery tickets,or to save their booze money to help support their families. So when you tell me that people can't leave, because they don't have the funds, maybe you are being ignorant abouthow irrational some of these people really are.Also, for those of you that think I have never left my "sheltered existence in Ames, IA",you would be dead wrong. First of all, I am from the east side of Cleveland. EastCleveland alone is one of the poorest cities that I have seen, with an unemployment ratevery similar to that of New Orleans. Cleveland also has 23 percent of its families living below the poverty line. With a population very similar to that of New Orleans, the cityseems to have similar poverty issues. I have been to East Cleveland on several occasions,and most people still have a car to rely on. Granted, many do rely on publictransportation, yet a majority of citizens do have a car to travel in. So next time you think that I have never seen a poverty stricken area, make sure you know what you are talkingabout. If the citizens of Cleveland can afford a car, so can the citizens of New Orleans.