New Orleans family in Albany waiting out Gustav - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

New Orleans family in Albany waiting out Gustav

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By Christian Jennings - bio | email

September 1, 2008

ALBANY, GA (WALB) - One New Orleans family that survived Hurricane Katrina three years ago did not want to risk it this time around. They got out of Louisiana. Now they're staying at the Days Inn hotel in Albany. The family has relatives already living in Albany, relatives that came here after Katrina, and never made it back to New Orleans.

On Saturday their entire extended family living in Gustav's path piled in the car and drove to Albany. But Monday they relaxed by the hotel pool and made the best of the holiday in their home away from home.

Cousins, aunts, and uncles gathered around the pool. They're celebrating Labor Day much like everyone else, with laughter, food, and cold drinks. Their bodies are at the pool. But their thoughts are full of horrifying flashbacks to three years ago.

Eula Matthews and her family survived hurricane Katrina. But When Gustav began slowly approaching New Orleans this weekend she wanted out.

"My eight year old son, once he found out about the storm Friday after he got out of school bless his heart almost brought me to tears. My little baby was staying up all night long watching the news telling us we need to get out my kids were just so scared because they dealt with Katrina,"says Matthews.

Matthew's aunt used to live in New Orleans and she too made it through Katrina."We were stuck in our apartment for six days," says her aunt Keane Shell.

Shell's mom evacuated to Albany prior to the Katrina. The two finally reunited, and have been in Albany ever since." My mother said she can't take New Orleans right now, she isn't going back," says Shell.

But others in the family plan on leaving as soon as it's safe. They just can't wait to go home. "It's very depressing. You know you're stressed out you're worried about your property and how hard you work to get your house back and get your life back in new Orleans. Because for me there is no other place for me to live except for in New Orleans. That's home," says Matthews.

Eula Matthews and her family live in the 9th ward of New Orleans and they don't know what condition the house is in at this time.  They plan on just keeping an eye on the weather like everyone else and will head back when they feel it's safe. Feedback