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Gustav crimps local seafood market

POSTED: September 7, 2008 5:01 a.m.
SARA GUEVARA/The Times

Phuong Le, owner of the Atlanta Highway Seafood Market, gets most of his seafood from New Orleans. Le has had to find other places to buy because of Hurricane Gustav.

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Phuong Le touts the freshness of his seafood at the Atlanta Highway Seafood Market. But for the next few days, he is struggling to find a replacement source for seafood from the Gulf coast.

Le, who opened his business five months ago, has turned to seafood suppliers in Charlotte, N.C., to fill the void left by the interruption of deliveries from the area hit by Hurricane Gustav.

"I could get fresh fish from the Gulf last week," Le said, adding that varieties such as snapper, flounder, crab and mullet had been plentiful prior to the storm.

He said commercial crabbers removed their traps from the Gulf waters, and it will take a few days for the catch to resume.

Le, who grew up in the Biloxi, Miss., area, had more than 25 family members descend on his home this weekend to ride out the storm. They left Tuesday to return to the coast.

Meanwhile, officials with Jackson Electric Membership Corp. have sent 18 contractor crews to help restore power to residents in Mississippi and Louisiana in the aftermath of Hurricane Gustav.

Three construction crews from Utility Line Construction Services and MASTEC North America Inc. left Sunday. Fifteen right of way crews from Townsend Tree Service and Asplundh Tree Expert Co. left Tuesday. The 18 crews totaled about 70 men.

"Jackson EMC has received assistance from other cooperatives in the past, so we’re glad to be able to help our fellow EMCs, as well as Louisiana and Mississippi residents," said Jim Smith, Jackson EMC vice president of engineering and operations. "Power restoration is critical to returning a community to a more normal way of life and helping residents begin the process of repairing storm damage,"

However, Smith has kept Jackson EMC employee crews at home and is prepared to recall the contractors if the company’s service area suffers outages due to Hurricane Hanna, which could strike anywhere from Florida to the Carolinas.



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