Nagin says evacuees to stay away for now

NEW ORLEANS (AP) - Don't come home yet. That's the message to New Orleans evacuees from Mayor Ray Nagin. He says they may have to wait in shelters and motels for a few more days.

Nagin tells NBC's "Today" show crews will spend the day assessing damage and repairing the sewer system and getting power turned back on, so people shouldn't try to return home.       Nagin says the city's levees have passed a good test and New Orleans "dodged a big bullet" when Gustav lost a little punch as it roared ashore.

He's praising what he calls a "near flawless" evacuation and says he doesn't regret his dire pre-Gustav warnings that it would be the mother of all storms.

Gustav has been downgraded to a tropical depression, and mandatory evacuation orders have been lifted for three southeast Texas counties.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)