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WASHINGTON-Before coming to CUNA, Political Director Trey Hawkins went to school and worked in Louisiana, and so he was relieved to find his brother and good friends safe following Hurricane Katrina and the subsequent flooding. Jason Hawkins, an independent consultant in computers and videography in New Orleans, is safe having evacuated to Texas before the storm hit, but he is not sure how his home fared. He has a second floor apartment, so Trey said it could have been spared from the flooding but Jason has no way to get to it to check. “At this point, we’re just thankful he’s safe,” Trey said. He added that Jason planned to stay, at least temporarily, at their parents’ place in Montgomery, Ala., which only got some bad thunderstorms. Trey said Jason has no idea how long he’ll have to stay or what will become of his livelihood, though he did evacuate his best equipment with him. However, the bulk of his clients were businesses and residents in New Orleans. Trey, who went to school at New Orleans’ Tulane University and worked for the Louisiana Democratic Party before coming to CUNA, said he had also been able to get in touch with most of his good friends from the area. The entire 504 area code in Louisiana is down, he explained, so communication has been difficult. “Like anything else right now, trying to get specifics down there is maddening,” he said. Trey concluded, “At this point, you see what the people are going through in the city and you’re thankful for what you’ve got.”

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