NEW ORLEANS, Oct. 20 - Mayor C. Ray Nagin gave a firm commitment on Thursday to the rebuilding of the destroyed Lower Ninth Ward and New Orleans East, clearing up doubts that had grown in the city about whether his administration would allow residents to return to the hard-hit areas.
"Read my lips," he said. "We will rebuild New Orleans East. We will rebuild the Lower Ninth Ward."
Mr. Nagin said after the news conference that the residents of the areas would be given "the levee protection that they need to rebuild." "They may rebuild a little different," he said, "but they are going to rebuild."