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Louisiana evacuees headed to Oklahoma

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) - Dozens of Oklahomans prepared a welcome mat Sunday for hundreds of evacuees from Louisiana who fled Hurricane Gustav.

They're some of an estimated 2 million people who left their flood-prone homes along the Gulf Coast in advance of a dangerous storm already blamed for the deaths of 94 people in the Caribbean.

As many as 400 evacuees boarded eight buses and left low-lying New Orleans before noon today. Sgt. Paco Balderrama, spokesman for the Oklahoma City Police Department, says they're bound for an evacuation shelter housed at the old Lucent Technology Center in far western Oklahoma City.

They were expected to arrive sometime late tonight or tomorrow.

Meanwhile, officals say the first 15 patients arrived aboard military aircraft late this afternoon and were transported to local hospitals by ambulance. As many as 200 patients are expected.

Copyright 2008 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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