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In fact, Charlo wouldn’t be here at all, if fate and timing hadn’t trapped him. His house, jacked up on five-foot stilts, sits perched on a skinny 50by-250-foot lot separated from Bayou La Loutre by the narrow, blacktopped Hopedale Highway. Neighbors live on both sides in stilt houses bigger and higher than his. But they’ve evacuated—as has almost everyone else at this latitude. On this night, Charlo is alone at the edge of a 49 50 The Storm suddenly uninhabited world. , is tied down with multiple ropes to his woodplanked dock in the bayou across the road.

Susan Robin Goes for a Drive Susan Robin, Ricky’s wife of thirteen years, has spent a jittery night in her brother’s modest home on Violet Street just two blocks off the Violet Canal and three long blocks from the St. Bernard Highway. She had begun the day in her father’s smaller house two streets away, where she, Ricky, and her two teenage daughters have been staying with her dad, an ailing widower, while they remodel their family home down in Yscloskey. But everyone has gathered at her brother’s now because his house is a bit closer to Violet Canal, where Ricky is standing by with the trawler.

It was, by today’s measurements, a Category 4 storm. Nicholas and Eleanor Robin were Ricky’s and Ronald’s greatgrandparents. Ricky’s grandfather, Charles Robin I, and Ronald’s grandfather, John, were boys aboard the seiner. , was a toddler who survived the hurricane in diapers. Their harrowing escape is the most detailed of their ancestral storm narratives, but hardly the only one. , their first Louisiana forebear, pitched up on this marshy coast sometime before 1776. To understand the Robins, the other captains who 36 The Storm kept watch at Violet Canal, and the residents clustered in their nearby houses, it’s helpful to know the wider, colorful history of St.

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