Global News Journal

Beyond the World news headlines

Weathering the storm: If the canal breaks


(Charles Abbyad, 58, is the maitre d’ at Arnaud’s, a classic creole restaurant in the center of New Orleans. With his wife, Jill, he keeps a guesthouse called The Chimes in the city’s historic Garden District. While thousands of residents are packing their cars and fleeing Hurricane Gustav, Abbyad is staying behind with Reuters reporters Matt Bigg and Tim Gaynor to ride out the storm.)

4.30 a.m.

“When we went to bed last night I had a good feeling about the storm. Maybe it was a false good feeling Charles Abbyadbut when Katrina was approaching we started feeling the effects way before the storm made landfall.”

“A huge branch on the street next to mine fell down and blocked the whole street. It was an omen of what was to come because we hardly had any wind at that point.”

“In the middle of the night the wind started howling. I just could not sleep because the wind was getting stronger and I was afraid that the chimes hanging outside and the big electric lamps would break my glass.  So I put on my rain gear and dismantled everything, in the dark.”