New Orleans family finds refuge in Tipton County during Hurricane Gustav

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC-TV) - A New Orleans family is happy they have family members far away from the destruction in New Orleans.  Every time a hurricane threatens their home, they make the trip up north to Covington, Tennessee.

For nine members of the Gonsoulin family,  rural cotton fields provide refuge every time a hurricane threatens their home.

"Everybody has just been so helpful.  I wouldn't want to be anywhere else," said evacuee Casey Sclafini.

Sclafini lost everything during Hurricane Katrina.

Pictures from three years ago show mold on her apartment walls and lights hanging from the ceiling.

She hopes that when she and her family go home this time, things won't be as bad.

"Cried halfway up here but God has blessed us and I think we're going to be able to go home and be OK this time," Sclafini said.

Christie Smith hates to see the destruction a hurricane causes but is glad to open up her doors to her family.

"They're still happy because you can't replace life and they're here. They're happy, we have a good time," Smith said.

Other family members said they are ready to pack up their cars and head back.

But said they are nervous for those who stayed behind.

"As of right now, they say we have no electricity, no sewage for using the restroom, water wise, as of know, that's what we know," said Pennie Worley.

But there's one thing they do know. The hearts of Tipton Countians will always be open when disaster strikes again.

Covington Mayor David Gordon said there are around 100 evacuees still in the Covington area. That as far less than the 900 who were there during Hurricane Katrina.

Click here to e-mail Justin Hanson.