Louisiana Oyster Industry Reels From Gustav
LIANE HANSEN, host:
Hurricane Ike is projected to roar over Cuba today as it makes its way toward the Gulf of Mexico. The category four storm has prompted phased evacuations in the Florida Keys and has the city of New Orleans on alert. This comes just one week after Hurricane Gustav battered the coast of Louisiana where residents of Houma are still in the beginning phases of recovery. We decided to check in with Kevin Voisin. He grew up in Houma and works at Motivatit Seafoods, a family-owned oyster business. We first met him after Hurricanes Katrina and Rita hit the area. We reached him yesterday in his kitchen.
Mr. KEVIN VOISIN (Vice President of Marketing, Motivatit Seafoods): It's not the kitchen I know. It's a kitchen with an empty fridge, no lights, no AC, and boarded windows. But other than that, a pretty normal kitchen.
HANSEN: So not a lot of damage to your house?
Mr. VOISIN: No. We had some wind damage. We had a really strange - a piece of our trampoline was thrown probably about 150 miles an hour all the way through the ceiling, which was very humbling.
HANSEN: Oh, my. Now, how about the business? How's the business doing?
Mr. VOISIN: Wonderful. Just wind - you know, a lot of wind damage. Just panels pulled off the ceilings. You know different parts of sidings and different parts of things that are missing, but really cosmetic. I mean, what's really been tough is the infrastructure damage. Power lines are down just everywhere.
HANSEN: So can you stay in your house now?
Mr. VOISIN: Well, officially no. But unofficially - you know, everybody is productive. That's what we're doing. It's been a week, and we just can't afford to stay out in hotels for that long. My family is with my in-laws in Texas, my wife and three kids. The kids are enrolled in school in Texas. To them, all they know is they got a great new school, and they're having lots of fun, and oh, yeah, there was this hurricane.
HANSEN: How long do you think it's going to take before, you know, your city services are returned, and you can repair everything?
Mr. VOISIN: Well, my toilet didn't work yesterday, but it works today. So, that's progress. I mean, you kind of measure progress by what's happening in your house. As far as power, that's the real tough question. ..TEXT: HANSEN: I mean, I know it's been really hard to get back and get to the work of repairing. But aren't you a little glad that the city is being cautious about this?
Mr. VOISIN: Well, I'm glad that the city is being cautious. But without people coming back, this community will not take off. If we all wait two weeks to come home, all that happens is things get really set in. Instead of just a tree on your house, now you have a tree on your house and squirrels living inside. The American way is to have each person be responsible for their own home, have each person - you know, we just want to get to the work of cleaning up. We're resilient, happy people and ready to work. ..TEXT: HANSEN: Kevin Voisin lives in Houma, Louisiana, where Hurricane Gustav struck last week. Kevin, thanks a lot. Take care, OK?
Mr. VOISIN: Thank you so much.
NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by Verb8tm, Inc., an NPR contractor, and produced using a proprietary transcription process developed with NPR. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of NPR’s programming is the audio record.