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Cheney Heading to Hurricane Ravaged Areas Along US Gulf Coast

Vice President Dick Cheney is heading to the U.S. Gulf Coast Thursday, for a first-hand look at the damage caused by Hurricane Katrina.

Mr. Cheney is to tour disaster sites in Gulfport, Mississippi as well as New Orleans and Baton Rouge, Louisiana. President Bush has said Mr. Cheney will assess recovery efforts and find ways to remove bureaucratic obstacles in areas ranging from housing to public health.

Meanwhile, police in New Orleans have been going house-to-house in an effort to coax thousands of Hurricane Katrina survivors to leave the storm ravaged city.

Police Chief Eddie Compass says officers are first focusing on people who want to leave and will then go after those who have refused to voluntarily evacuate, using the "minimal amount of force necessary." New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin issued a mandatory evacuation order late Tuesday.

Several thousand people remain in the city, despite major fires and health hazards posed by floodwaters. A spokesman for the Centers for Disease Control says several people are suspected to have been killed by waterborne bacteria.