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Gulf oyster producers prepare for Isaac

Kai Ryssdal Aug 27, 2012
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Gulf oyster producers prepare for Isaac

Kai Ryssdal Aug 27, 2012
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Tropical Storm Isaac is poised to make landfall on the anniversary of Hurricane Katrina. As it churns in the Gulf of Mexico, New Orleans business owners and residents are preparing for yet another potential disaster.

Sal Sunseri runs the 136-year-old P&J Oyster Company in New Orleans, which supplies restaurants all over the area with shellfish. Sunseri says he and his staff are preparing for the worst, while trying to stay positive. “We operate a lean, mean, fighting machine-type of place.” The business is still recovering from the BP oil spill. “We’re getting back up there. It’s a good 75 percent. That’s not bad. It’s sort of like a comparison with a forest fire, to where it’s gone but it comes back strong.”

Although the storm is taking away the news headlines from the GOP convention in Tampa, Sunseri says he’s still paying attention. “But I heard that the storm’s not going that way, so I don’t know why they pushed it back or it’s a shorter version. But you know, I’d hold it. I think it should be going on.”

Meanwhile, Sunseri and his family are waiting to ride the storm out. “We have a small generator just to run the refrigerator and a few fans. We’re going to be cooking some étouffée and have some raw oysters.”

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