STEVE INSKEEP, host:
Okay, another hurricane has come and gone, so let's check in again with Donald and Colleen Bordelon, residents of St. Bernard Parish, just outside New Orleans and below sea level.
We spoke to the couple several times as they rebuilt their home after Katrina, and we spoke with them on Monday as they waited out Hurricane Gustav.
Mr. DONALD BORDELON: We're in Baton Rouge by my daughter's house.
INSKEEP: So I guess that means you decided to leave the storm and not ride this one out, as you did Katrina.
Mr. BORDELON: Yeah.
Ms. COLLEEN BORDELON: Yeah, and I didn't want to, but yeah.
INSKEEP: Which means you had to leave behind the house. What condition were things in as you left?
Mr. BORDELON: Weather was beautiful. A lot of people was leaving. You're going to have a lot of people leave this time because everybody's so scared, you know?
INSKEEP: So those were the Bordelons on Monday; safe - we thought - in Baton Rouge. After the storm, we called again and found they suffered damage, though not where you'd expect.
So let me just ask the obvious question first. Have you heard about the status of your house in St. Bernard Parish near New Orleans?
Mr. BORDELON: Yes, sir, I sure did. It's supposed to be in good shape.
INSKEEP: Now, let me just ask how you guys weathered the storm. I know you were in Baton Rouge, which is safe territory, right?
Mr. BORDELON: We thought it was. My daughter and son-in-law have a beautiful house up here. They have some trees around their house, you know, and it just - yesterday, when the wind started blowing, they had one tree from the neighbors, it fell, hit one of their trees, and both of them went clean through the bedroom windows.
INSKEEP: Were you and Colleen in the house when the tree crashed through it?
Mr. BORDELON: Yes, sir. We was there. It scared the - I hate to say - it scared the (bleep) out of all of us, it really did. We got one of Shari(ph), my daughter's, friend Robby staying up here with them, because she has two young kids, and they was in there taking their nap, and a couple little limbs started hitting the roof.
I said, Rob, you know what? Let's get them kids out of their bed and bring them in the front room, and about a half an hour later is when the tree fell down through that roof, and if the kids would've been in the bed, I'd hate to see the circumstances, you know, because the limb kind of crushed the bed. It was a disaster area. It really is, man.
INSKEEP: Why don't you pass the phone over to Colleen Bordelon. I want to make sure she's okay.
Mr. BORDELON: Okay, she's right here. Hang on a second.
Ms. BORDELON: Hello?
INSKEEP: Hey there, Colleen.
Ms. BORDELON: Hey, how are you doing?
INSKEEP: I'm doing okay, but I've got to ask if you're okay after being in that house when the tree crashed through it.
Ms. BORDELON: Yeah, I was in the other room. I just - I don't know. I'd rather it had happened to me than my daughter, you know?
INSKEEP: So are you going to invite your daughter now to come back to your restored house, just outside New Orleans?
Ms. BORDELON: Well, she knows she can. You know, there's no problem with that, but I know she's like us. She wants to be at home, you know, get the stuff put back together. You know, so I'll just stay up here as long as they want me to and don't kick me out and give them a hand. You know, I told them I've got gutting experience. I can tear down the walls.
INSKEEP: Well, why don't I get you to pass the phone back over to Donald Bordelon once again; and Colleen, it's been great talking with you.
Ms. BORDELON: You, too. Hang on a minute. Here he comes.
Mr. BORDELON: How we doing?
INSKEEP: We're doing okay. What does it mean that the house that you went away from is fine, and the house that you went to as a shelter got whacked?
Mr. BORDELON: Man, but you know what? I've been thinking all night on that, man. You know, I left one spot trying to be safe and come up here, and all of this happens, you know? I wish I would've stayed at home. Then I was glad I was up here with them because just younger kids don't really know what to do when things like this happen, you know? But they're learning really fast. It's a bad thing, buddy, you know. I just can't get away from them. I don't know. All I can do is laugh a little bit about it, I guess, you know?
INSKEEP: Well, Mr. Bordelon, thanks for the update. I appreciate it.
Mr. BORDELON: You want to talk to me, give me another holler tomorrow, buddy. I'll be here.
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