Independent rep Jean Paul de la Houssaye, principal of C&D Agency in Covington, La., was an Air Force fighter pilot for 20 years before starting up his own company. But he never had seen anything quite like Hurricane Katrina. He and his family are fine, as is his home-based rep agency. He has been in touch with several other people from the New Orleans electrical market.

“I have talked to Rene Philibert, Rapco Associates, Metairie, La., and their people. Rene's home and office are okay. I talked to Gary Corales at NuLite Electrical Wholesalers in Harahan, La., and their store in Harahan is up and running with Katolight generator power.

“We feel like the fortunate ones. No high water problems. The C&D Agency is a home/office facility for us. We rode out Katrina. Never again!

“Lots of 100-plus year-old trees down. None on the home/office. This has got to be a miracle! My son, Michael and family evacuated to a friend’s home in Baton Rouge before the storm hit. His rental home in Covington took a big pine tree through the roof.

We returned 9/6 to move their belongings into storage. My wife, her sister, six puppies mother, dog and I have moved to St. Francisville, La., for the time being and are staying with wife's sister and husband. We will return to Covington when the infrastructure is working.

“The hardest part of our ordeal was cutting our way out through the fallen trees. If it had not been for a neighbor and my brother-in-law, Craig Roth with front-end loader tractors our land exit would still be blocked. Our water exit was a last resort. I'll try to find more people. We have been in a survival mode for several days.”