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Family of 5 evacuates to Victoria

Aug. 29, 2012 at 3:29 a.m.
Updated Aug. 30, 2012 at 3:30 a.m.

Isaac evacuees from Galliano, La. Steve Bruce, Michael York, Jasmine Bruce, Barbara Bruce and Christian Bruce sit outside a relatives house in Victoria.

Nothing prepares you for Mother Nature's wrath or how fickle she can be.

This Steve and Barbara Bruce know firsthand.

Hurricane Katrina leveled the couple's two-bedroom trailer in Galliano, La., seven years ago.

So, when they got word that they were in Tropical Storm Isaac's crosshairs and supplies at their local Walmart were running out, they took no chances.

They did what they were supposed to - board up windows, pack away birth certificates and hold onto their photo albums tight.

Then, on Monday, armed with few changes of clothes and scant cash, they loaded up their children, Michael York, 8; Jasmine Bruce, 7; and Christian Bruce, 11; in a borrowed car and headed 11 hours away, to the Lone Star state.

"You have to prepare for the worst, but hope for the best," Barbara Bruce said.

This time, they had one extra passenger - Bones, a Pitbull they'd found roaming the streets after Katrina and couldn't bear to leave behind.

They're staying now with Barbara Bruce's grandmother Barbara Kaiser, the Victoria Advocate's Internet Cafe cook, until roads reopen.

They've been glued to the TV since they arrived, including social media, which Barbara Bruce said is both a blessing and a curse.

Already, someone's posted on Facebook pictures of their trailer's roof strewn across a neighbor's lawn.

"Now, I'm really stressed out," she said Wednesday before the family sat down for dinner. "I kind of would rather not know."

It took the Federal Emergency Management Agency six months to come to the Bruces' aid when Katrina battered the Gulf Coast, and it meant the five had to live in a camper for three years.

"That's where my kids took their first steps," Barbara Bruce said of the cramped quarters.

And her husband is hoping to avoid a repeat.

"We aren't going to stay in a camper again, that's for sure," he said of their tentative plans to relocate to a relative's nearby vacant property.

They said above all, storms put things into perspective.

Jasmine Bruce said she's just looking forward to reuniting with those who decided to hunker down.

"I'm scared of my family members getting hurt," she said, squeezing her legs to her chest.

"You can always buy another TV," her dad added, "but you can't rebuild a life."

Related story:

Isaac steers clear of direct blow, dumps heavy rain on New Orleans, click HERE



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