By and and and  on September 3, 2008

NEW ORLEANS — Narrowly escaping the potential ravages of Hurricane Gustav, this city remained locked down Tuesday as Mayor C. Ray Nagin issued orders prohibiting all but essential personnel from returning for at least the next few days.

Communications remained difficult with retailers scattered as far away as Florida and Missouri and calls to cell phones within the 504 area code forwarded to “all circuits are busy” advisories. Stores outside the hardest-hit areas slowly began to resume operations, as utilities would allow.

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