NEW ORLEANS (CBS 11 NEWS) – Gas stations are empty, and roads out of New Orleans are filling up, but not everyone was leaving as Tropical Storm Isaac approached land Monday night.
More than 140 miles west of New Orleans, Dean Day was one of the only drivers able to fill up his pickup truck Monday, putting in diesel while every gas pump was covered with a plastic bag. “Probably stick it out for this one,” Day said. “If it starts getting to a Cat-2 or worse, we’ll go ahead and leave.”
Day said that it was not lost on anyone that Isaac was charging in nearly to the day that Katrina hit the coast seven years ago. Remembering the damage done then, Day said, he was packing his truck to go at the last minute if he needed to. “To have two within a seven year span, that’s really bad luck,” he said.
In Baton Rouge, trailers and cars with cargo boxes clogged later afternoon traffic heading west. Store and restaurant parking lots were mostly empty. Outside a grocery store, Amy Alexander was going in with her daughter to look for water. She admitted that there was some hesitation to consider leaving altogether. “Of all the years in the past, we haven’t taken this one seriously as we probably should,” she said. “It’s been a while since we had a hurricane, so were a little out of practice.”
In New Orleans, a few cars and people were still out on the streets. At the foot of Canal Street, near the river, people walked up and down the water line with flashlights, dodging waves sending splashes of water up over the wall.
Yvette Smith, who lost her home in Katrina, said that she was there just checking to see the water level. Based on her experience, it wasn’t enough to get her to leave town. “If it was already coming over, I’d be gone,” she said.
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