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Hurricane evacuees begin flights home from Kentucky Air Guard Base

Hurricane Gustav evacuees board a commercial airliner at the Kentucky Air Guard Base for a flight home Sept. 6. Nearly 1,500 Gulf Coast evacuees spent about a week at a Red Cross Shelter at the Kentucky Exposition Center in Louisville. (Photo by Capt. Dale Greer, Kentucky Air National Guard.)

Hurricane Gustav evacuees board a commercial airliner at the Kentucky Air Guard Base for a flight home Sept. 6. Nearly 1,500 Gulf Coast evacuees spent about a week at a Red Cross Shelter at the Kentucky Exposition Center in Louisville. (Photo by Capt. Dale Greer, Kentucky Air National Guard.)

Capt. Matt Chastain of the Kentucky Air Guard's 165th Airlift Squadron discusses the Sept. 6 airflow plan for New Orleans-bound flights with Senior Master Sgt. Scott Andrews of the 123rd Logisitcs Readiness Squadron. (Photo by Capt. Dale Greer, Kentucky Air National Guard.)

Capt. Matt Chastain of the Kentucky Air Guard's 165th Airlift Squadron discusses the Sept. 6 airflow plan for New Orleans-bound flights with Senior Master Sgt. Scott Andrews of the 123rd Logisitcs Readiness Squadron. (Photo by Capt. Dale Greer, Kentucky Air National Guard.)

Hurricane Gustav evacuees board a commercial airliner at the Kentucky Air Guard Base for a flight home Sept. 6. Nearly 1,500 Gulf Coast evacuees spent about a week at a Red Cross Shelter at the Kentucky Exposition Center in Louisville. (Photo by Capt. Dale Greer, Kentucky Air National Guard.)

Hurricane Gustav evacuees board a commercial airliner at the Kentucky Air Guard Base for a flight home Sept. 6. Nearly 1,500 Gulf Coast evacuees spent about a week at a Red Cross Shelter at the Kentucky Exposition Center in Louisville. (Photo by Capt. Dale Greer, Kentucky Air National Guard.)

Transit Authority of River City buses carrying Hurricane Gustav evacuees wait to enter the flightline at the Kentucky Air National Guard Base on Sept. 6. The New Orleans-area residents began returning home after spending abut a week in a Red Cross Shelter at the Kentucky Exposition Center in Louisville. (Photo by Capt Dale Greer, Kentucky Air National Guard.)

Transit Authority of River City buses carrying Hurricane Gustav evacuees wait to enter the flightline at the Kentucky Air National Guard Base on Sept. 6. The New Orleans-area residents began returning home after spending abut a week in a Red Cross Shelter at the Kentucky Exposition Center in Louisville. (Photo by Capt Dale Greer, Kentucky Air National Guard.)

Hurricane Gustav evacuees board a commercial airliner at the Kentucky Air Guard Base for a flight home Sept. 6. Nearly 1,500 Gulf Coast evacuees spent about a week at a Red Cross Shelter at the Kentucky Exposition Center in Louisville. (Photo by Capt. Dale Greer, Kentucky Air National Guard.)

Hurricane Gustav evacuees board a commercial airliner at the Kentucky Air Guard Base for a flight home Sept. 6. Nearly 1,500 Gulf Coast evacuees spent about a week at a Red Cross Shelter at the Kentucky Exposition Center in Louisville. (Photo by Capt. Dale Greer, Kentucky Air National Guard.)

Hurrican Gustav evacuees step off a Transit Authority of River City bus before boarding a flight back to New Orleans on Sept. 6 as members of the Kentucky Air National Guard bid them farewell on the base flightline. The New Orleans-area residents spent about a week in a Red Cross Shelter at the Kentucky Exposition Center in Louisville. (Photo by Capt Dale Greer, Kentucky Air National Guard.)

Hurrican Gustav evacuees step off a Transit Authority of River City bus before boarding a flight back to New Orleans on Sept. 6 as members of the Kentucky Air National Guard bid them farewell on the base flightline. The New Orleans-area residents spent about a week in a Red Cross Shelter at the Kentucky Exposition Center in Louisville. (Photo by Capt Dale Greer, Kentucky Air National Guard.)

Senior Airman Richie Snow of the Kentucky Air Guard's 123rd Contingency Response Group checks bus tires for foreign object debris before allowing them to enter the base flightline on Sept. 6. The bus was carrying Hurricane Gustav evacuees, who were on base to catch a return flight home. (Photo by Capt. Dale Greer, Kentucky Air National Guard).

Senior Airman Richie Snow of the Kentucky Air Guard's 123rd Contingency Response Group checks bus tires for foreign object debris before allowing them to enter the base flightline on Sept. 6. The bus was carrying Hurricane Gustav evacuees, who were on base to catch a return flight home. (Photo by Capt. Dale Greer, Kentucky Air National Guard).

KENTUCKY AIR NATIONAL GUARD BASE, LOUISVILLE, Ky. -- Hundreds of New Orleans-area residents who were evacuated to Kentucky last week to escape Hurricane Gustav began boarding commercial airliners here today for return flights home.

The first 96 evacuees left the Kentucky Air Guard flightline at 11:30 a.m. Eastern Time en route to Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport. Four more flights followed in the afternoon, carrying an additional 770 passengers, officials said.

Outbound flights were expected to continue here on Sunday as the Kentucky Air Guard, the Red Cross and emergency management officials worked to return the evacuees to their homes. Since last week, nearly 1,500 Gulf Coast residents have been staying in a Red Cross shelter at the Kentucky Exposition Center.

More than 200 Kentucky Air Guard members have participated in the relief operation since Aug. 29.