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CTA evacuation list: 440 people, 3 cats, 1 dog and 2 parakeets

Coast Transit Authority Director Kevin Coggin said today's first-ever use of school buses to evacuate people to Jackson's Mississippi Coliseum was a success. The evacuees reported to local community centers and were transported by CTA to the Harrison County Skate Park on DeBuys Road.

The state Department of Education and local school districts provided the buses to carry 440 people, well within CTA's capacity.

"We really didn't know how many we'd get," Coggin said. "We thought the outside number would be 1,500 for a Category 4 or 5 storm like Katrina, so this seemed about right."

Of the 440 people, 28 were transported as special needs evacuees after evaluation by the state Department of Health. Also, the state's veterinarian board provided help to check on three cats, one dog and two parakeets that were transported.

Hopefully, the cats and parakeets were kept on separate buses.

To check on any friends or family members evacuated in this exodus, call 1-800-RED-CROSS.