Thousands of Refugees Continue to Await Help

NEW ORLEANS — Planes, trains and buses delivered refugees to safety on Saturday as the evacuation of this ruined city finally appeared to pick up steam.

Buses had evacuated most people from the frightening confines of the Superdome (search) by early morning. At the equally squalid convention center, thousands of people began pushing and dragging their belongings up the street to more than a dozen air-conditioned buses, the mood more numb than jubilant.

More than 50,000 people had been trapped for days at the two filthy, sweltering buildings, suffering from a lack of food, water or medical attention. Help came too late for a number of them — dead bodies were a common sight, in wheelchairs, wrapped in blankets or just abandoned.

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