[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/09/01/art.bourbon3.jpg caption="Bourbon Street in the French Quarter of New Orleans was empty, Monday."]
Gary Tuchman | Bio
Bourbon Street was a barren street. The road where it takes you a half hour to walk two blocks through thousands of people during Mardi Gras, had nobody on it when we were shooting video in the worst of Hurricane Gustav.
The street and the entire city as a matter of fact, haven't been this empty since the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. The effectiveness of the hurricane evacuation was remarkable and commendable. But a tiny percentage of New Orleanians decided not to leave, and one of the people who didn't leave is a guy I want to tell you about.
Russell Gore lives in New Orleans East, a neighborhood that was devastated during Katrina. And nobody was more personally devastated than Russell. He and his wife Cindy did not evacuate during Katrina, and while they were in their house, floodwaters tore into it.
Russell says more than nine feet of water came into his home, and for a day and a half he and his wife were in the attic. He says his wife was panicked, and then, to his utter shock, she died. Russell says the doctor told him she died of stress.
Either way, psychologically, Russell Gore has been a wreck for the last three years. He said he pledged to rebuild his house and move back in because he never wanted to forget the good memories.
So indeed he did. And it's that house where Russell decided NOT to evacuate once again from this hurricane.
I couldn't understand; I asked him after all he went through, why wouldn't he leave? And he gave me an answer that in a way made a certain degree of sense.
He told me he felt guilty he did not leave with Cindy in 2005; and that he just couldn't bring himself to evacuate this time, and not with her last time. He told me "I ain't running."
I stopped by his house after the worst of Gustav was over today. He told me it was scary but staying was something he had to do. It's easy to think that Russell Gore didn't make an wise decision. But its hard to say that to him because most of us fortunately have not had to walk in his shoes.
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