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Evacuees Turned WF Restaurant Owners Reflect on Hurricane Katrina

As the 350-mile wide Hurricane Isaac inches toward the gulf coast, the city of New Orleans is in preparation mode, and the Army Corps of Engineers says the city is ready for whatever comes its way.  That was perhaps not the case seven years ago almost to the day when Hurricane Katrina hit.  A Texoma family experienced that first hand.
    As Hurricane Isaac nears land, the Calvin family remembers leaving their New Orleans home during Hurricane Katrina.
    Terry Calvin, co-owner of New Orleans Connection in Wichita Falls, says, "Evacuations.  The stuff I saw, bodies, and all that; it brings back memories."
    Terrazz Causey, who left her home because of Katrina, says, "The losing of everything in our homes and all of our memories.  That was all we knew; all I knew was New Orleans, so those memories come back."
    Almost seven years to the day when Katrina hit land, the family says getting out of New Orleans and out of Katrina's path was a blessing in disguise, because now they're living in a city they love.
    "We decided to stay here because of the friendliness and everyone opened their arms and welcomed us," Causey says.
    Once in Texoma, the Calvins opened up the New Orleans Connection restaurant on 7th St. in Downtown Wichita Falls.
    The restaurant has been open for nearly two years.
    Pamela Calvin, co-owner of New Orleans Connection, says, "We wanted a lot of food from back home, so we decided to bring a taste of New Orleans here to Wichita Falls."
    "I just got tired of eating pizza, Mexican food, and ribs," Terry says.  "So I said, 'Let's bring our flavor here'.  Ya know?"
    Now they say all they can do is hope for the best for the city that made creole and etouffee famous, as well as for the rest of the Gulf Coast.
    "I'm just hoping and praying that everything goes well and it doesn't get as bad as it did for Katrina," Pamela says.
    The Calvins still have family who live in the New Orleans area.
    They say some of them are evacuating, but others opted to ride out the hurricane.
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