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Have You Been Affected By Hurricane Gustav?

Hurricane Gustav

Hurricane Gustav, although still powerful, was downgraded to a Category 2 storm as it began to hit the Gulf Coast. Mario Tama, Getty Images hide caption

itoggle caption Mario Tama, Getty Images

If you live in the Gulf Coast region and have a firsthand story related to the impact of Hurricane Gustav, we want to hear your story. Have you relocated? Or maybe you've taken in family members.

We may contact you to be on an upcoming show. Please leave an accurate e-mail address (which will not be made public.)

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Unfortunately, Gustav didn't cause the kind of damage that the National Media was concerned about. The levees in New Orleans were not breached, and I think that is great. However, once NOLA was fine, the media left and didn't report on the devastation that DID take place. How unfortunate.

A week after Gustav hit the LA coast, some individuals still don't have power in their homes. They are likely to be without power for another 2-3 weeks. There is a boil water ban in one parish, and some parishes are letting individuals return on a limited basis.

All of this is occurring and there is another storm possibly heading for the gulf coast.

Sent by ernise | 1:28 PM | 9-8-2008

I was effected by Gustav. But first I have to relate how Katrina effected me. For 9 years before katrina hit New orleans I was the Operation manager and Production manager at the Orpheum Theatre in New Orleans which served as the home for the symphony and many other events. I loved my job. I have a home 30 miles west of the city in the river parish of Saint John The Baptist. I have a wife Tammy of 25 years and a beautiful daughter who was 17 at the time of Katrina who is 20 now. My wife worked in retail and my child did well in school. We made around $75000 a year. After Katrina all the theatres were flooded and the entertainment industry was dead.I lost my job along with the wife. We stayed with my twin brother in Houston for two months where my daughter continued her senior year of high school. When I got back home I had roof damage to my home which my insurance did not pay me enough to fix. Then they dropped me and wanted to charge me 4 times more than I was paying so I dropped my home insurance. While in Texas my wife who had suffered from OCD and panic disorder for 10 years started to have problems. She had never used drugs before. But was on some pain killers from a car wreck prior to the storm. When her doctor took her off of them she started to by pain killers off the street. By the time I found out and got her into rehab she had spent alot of money on drugs. The methadone program she still goes to cost me over $400 a month. 6 months after katrina she lost her mother who had spent 5 days in waist deep water in her home during the storm. She died in her FEMA trailer due to stress,bad air who knows. The next morning she lost her father who had lost his trailer in Saint Tammy across the lake during the storm. He was in Alambama with his sister.Stress seemed liked it killed him. My wife just stayed at home for the next two and a half years hiding from the world. I got a good job with a company that worked for the Corp of Engineers with the clean up of the city. But was not enough so I had to declare bankrupcy 8 months ago. I finaly got a job back in the entainment industry as production manager at a local sound company. My bankrupcy failed because the wife cant hold a job. She cant get the right mental help because that was the hardist hit area of the medical community after the storm. I have been working hard to make ends meet to hold on to my house. My older brother who was suffering from Aids for the last 13 years from a operation he had ended up in Tenn. after katrina. Where he found it hard to get his meds like the Aids foundation took care of him in New orleans. He died 10 months ago. So Katrina really changed our lives along with every person you talk to. I could go on for hours with how my life has changed but thats it in a nut shell.Then Gustav hits.My wife and I and my 6 Chihauhau's left and went to my coworkers home in Amite county in Mississippi. we stayed there for 6 days. Wondering if I would have a home to go back to or a job. When we got back home we had no power or use of our toilets for a day. We were very lucky to get our power back on in Saint John parish because they are just now getting it all back on. I still have a job. I had more roof damage than with Katrina. I spent 4 days doing repairs since I used to be a roofer as a young man. I am 51 now. I was trying to get a blue tarp but they didnt have them yet. So I made my repairs. My wife is having her mental problems still. It cost me only gas and food to stay at my friends place but for a working stiff its a hard blow to my pocket book. My roof damage left the inside of my home with wet ceilings, destroyed some of my art work. I have been an artist all my life. I have mold growing on my ceiling which I treated with some bleach to try to kill. I am trying to get some help from FEMA which leaves a bad taste in my mouth since I dont believe that the government is the answer for everything. My bank is willing to try to work something out with my home since my bankrupcy failed only because the property around this part of the state is unsellable. So I hope I can work that out. My daughter who did not go to collage yet is doing picering in a tatoo shop. She picked that up in the last year and is doing good with it. But she has had some emotional problems since Katrina. These storms are a bitch. If I had the means I would move somewhere where you dont have to worry about nature flooding your city and killing you. Are where you dont have to spend a weeks pay check to run away from a storm are worry about if the storm is going to come your way. During the clean up after katrina I saw New Orleans, all the places I had been as a child and young man destoryed. The last day I did that work was on the street that I grew up on. I was standing infront of my childhood home on Abundance Street. It was so sureal. I am a pretty tough guy. I have seen alot of things in my life. If people only knew how important this area of Louisiana is to the country. How tough the people are. These storms have really been a testing ground for the government to write the book on the big terriosit attack or the big earth quake and how to deal with emptying out a city in two days and how to keep law and order. They have pretty much failed at helping enough people but I have to say that they try. The private sector are the ones that really get the job done. The faith based groups. kids coming down on their spring brakes and cleaning homes, are the red cross and salvation Army feeding people. I know I have been all over the place with my thoughts. But I would say that my mother and father who are both passed on, that I understand how their lives must have been dealing with the great depression and world war two. My dad at 18 storming Ohmaha beach on D-Day. My mom growing up in cajon country during the depression. I guess we have to live with the thoughts of Katrina and Gustav. I can deal with it mentaly but alot of people cant. When we loose power down here in August you have to deal with 100 degree temps amd the humid conditions. Some people cant deal with it. If you drive around new orleans the city has so far to go after katrina. Gustav has just pushed it back even more. If I had the money to leave I would. If I had the means to get a job in another state I would. if I do loose my home I might just grab my art supplies, my guitar and harmonicas,my dogs and my wife and daughter and leave this place for good. It is such a beautiful place. But what makes it so great to me are the people.and they are leaving more and more. I might be the next one to go.

Sent by Keith Nestor | 5:55 PM | 9-10-2008

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