The New Orleanians who stayed behind for Gustav
Bourbon Street on Monday. Posted on Flickr by Terrified of another Katrina, New Orleans was well-prepared for Hurricane Gustav. When the storm hit the shore at 110mph, the city was already empty. Looks like Mayor Ray Nagin's message to "get your butts out" worked. But not everyone listened... Read our Observer's account and see the videos.
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Bourbon Street on Monday. Posted on Flickr by "Dragon_X"
Terrified of another Katrina, New Orleans was well-prepared for Hurricane Gustav. When the storm hit the shore at 110mph, the city was already empty. Looks like Mayor Ray Nagin's message to "get your butts out" worked. But not everyone listened...
Despite being dubbed "the mother of all storms" by the city's mayor, Hurricane Gustav, which killed 96 in the Caribbean, didn't claim one victim in New Orleans. The authorities managed to evacuate two million residents from the area over the weekend - the biggest mandatory evacuation in American history, according to the local media. Around one thousand police officers and 750 national guardsmen are patrolling the deserted city; which remains under mandatory evacuation and curfew. Our Observer gives his account of events from his grocery store in the city centre. Meanwhile, the hurricane continues on its path to Texas, but was today downgraded to a tropical depression and has slowed to around 55 mph.
The only people on the street - reporters
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"It’s just me and my two cats"
Louis Matassa is the owner of a grocery store on Dauphine Street, New Orleans.
I stayed in town through the storm. I did for Katrina as well. The evacuation is "mandatory", but if you want to stay in your house you can; you just can't leave the building. I'm stuck in the French quarter right now, in my grocery store. My family's out of town so it's just me and my two cats. You look out of the window and you see empty streets. People have passed by to get eggs and milk - no bread, the factory's closed for the storm - I've got cigarettes, beer, fresh meat. I had a big delivery on Friday.
It was pretty breezy when the storm came in. There was a lot of rain, but it kept bearing west so it wasn't nearly as bad as we thought. If things had got bad, well, it would have been too late. This is my business; I'm not going to leave it. It's been in my family since 1924, and I've worked here since I was a teenager, about 41 years. I can survive. Plus this time we had running water, and we already got power back last night. There's a lot more police protection this time compared with Katrina. When the mayor said this was the storm of all time, I laughed! They do that just to get the population out of town. They didn't want another Katrina."
The location of Louis' grocery shop: