The Christian Science Monitor

After Barry, the Big Easy breathes easy

As Tropical Storm Barry crept closer to the Louisiana bayous, Lester Tobias, a French Quarter cook, steeled his nerves.

Fourteen years earlier, he stood on the Mississippi River levee and heard it break with a loud boom. Mr. Tobias fled as hundreds died in the flood waters of Hurricane Katrina.

For years, when he would hear rain in the night, he would get out of bed and stand at the window. “My wife would say, ‘What you jumping up for?’ I’d say,

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