Among the millions of Gulf Coast residents who were displaced by Hurricane Katrina, Kirk Artrip counts himself among the lucky to have made it safely to Iowa. Artrip is staying with his parents in Webster City after fleeing New Orleans along with his wife, his wife’s parents and her brother.Artrip says during most other storms, they would have stayed to ride it out, but during previous high-powered storms, they’d evacuate for a day or so. Obviously, he says, this time they’ll be staying in Iowa for quite a while. Artrip says he and the rest of the family who fled New Orleans are coping with the situation well.He says everyone’s in good spirits — as good as can be expected, given the many worries and concerns. He’s been talking with what friends he can reach about the neighborhoods, who has water and who doesn’t, and how their homes faired. Artrip was the manager of a New Orleans restaurant and still isn’t sure how much damage the eatery endured. He says Katrina ripped the roof off a back room where seafood was boiled and it’s not clear how much water got into the restaurant itself but the structure is still standing. Artrip says he’s heard it could be another two weeks to a month before he and the others are allowed to return to New Orleans.
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