Saints have to leave flood-hit New Orleans

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The New Orleans Saints will host their NFL season-opener against the Green Bay Packers on Sunday in Jacksonville, Florida.

The NFL said the decision was made in the interest of public safety in the aftermath of Hurricane Ida which has left the Louisiana city largely without power.

"The decision was made, in consultation with state and local officials and both clubs, in the interest of public safety," the league announced. Saints owner Gayle Benson made an initial US$1 million donation to the Gulf Coast Renewal Fund.

The Saints evacuated to and have been training in Dallas, however a scheduled concert prevented them from playing the game at the Cowboys' home stadium.

Head coach Sean Payton on Tuesday said the Saints are preparing as if they won't be able to return to Louisiana for the first four weeks of the regular season.

Though the Superdome avoided structural damage, much of the city of New Orleans lacks power and water consumption has become an issue in the aftermath of the massive storm.

The hurricane made landfall Sunday as a Category 4 storm with winds of 150 mph.

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