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Holdouts stay on as Gustav approaches

  • Story Highlights
  • Some Gulf Coast residents refuse to flee hurricane despite evacuation orders
  • "We've been through it, weathered storms before," says Mississippi store owner
  • Shrimper in southern Louisiana says he feels as safe on his boat as anywhere else
  • "This is where I live. This is what I love," bar patron says
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NEW ORLEANS, Louisiana (CNN) -- Ronald "Jug" Dufrene sent his family away over the weekend, but he is riding out Hurricane Gustav on his shrimp boat docked 20 miles south of New Orleans in Lafitte, Louisiana.

"I feel just as safe and comfortable on this boat as I do anywhere else," Dufrene said.

Three years ago, he rode out Hurricane Katrina on his boat, which he has owned for 28 years.

While mandatory evacuation orders and not-too-distant memories of Katrina's devastation have almost emptied the New Orleans area, some residents have decided to stay.

Many reasoned that if they survived Katrina in 2005, they could make it through Gustav. Video Watch why one man refuses to leave »

About 30 miles east of New Orleans in Waveland, Mississippi, the Davis Family Grocery was the only business still open south of Interstate 10, according to owner Beverly Davis.

"I guess they call us die-hards," Davis said. Why did you stay?

"We've been through it, weathered storms before."

She said her business was on higher ground and survived the Katrina surge.

Davis said she should be able to open Monday using an electric generator, if needed. Video Watch other residents who aren't evacuating »

Megan Arseneaux, 19, was hunkered down Monday morning in her home in Harahan, Louisiana, two blocks from the Mississippi River.

"I stayed here with my mother because we were very indecisive about leaving or not, due to the horrific traffic situations," Arseneaux told CNN in an e-mail.

"We have our front windows boarded up, and sandbags along our front door," she wrote. Harahan is in Jefferson Parish on the east bank of the river.

About a dozen people stuck around for a night of drinking Sunday at the Kajun's Pub, a small bar in New Orleans' Marigny district.

A Billy Joel song was on the jukebox as patrons played pool, scrabble and video poker, and owner Joann Guidof kept the beer and liquor flowing.

"We're kind of high," Guidof said, referring to her building's elevation. She said even though the pub is close to the Mississippi, it got just a foot of water three years ago when levees gave way and flooded the area.

She stayed open through it all and said she has no fear of Gustav.

"These buildings here have been around since 1890," Guidof said. "If they can handle it, why can't I?" Photo See what faced those who did evacuate »


One man, with a pitcher of beer in one hand and a pool stick in the other, explained why he stayed.

"Man, this is where I live. This is what I love," he said. "If I've got to go somewhere else to be alive, I'd rather not be alive."

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