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Washington keeping tabs on Gustav

Washington keeping tabs on Gustav

ANAHEIM -- Three years after the devastation of Hurricane Katrina, Rangers manager Ron Washington's hometown of New Orleans is being threatened once again.

Hurricane Gustav is moving through the Caribbean and possibly heading for the Gulf of Mexico, just as Katrina did three years ago. The governors of Texas, Louisiana and Mississippi have already sounded emergency warnings.

Washington vividly remembers what happened three years ago to New Orleans. His home there was flooded with seven feet of water, and he and his wife, Gerry, lost many valuable possessions. A Gold Glove Award given to him by Athletics third baseman Eric Chavez was ruined.

Washington still has his house in New Orleans and still has family there, including his mother. It took him three years, but the house is finally rebuilt from Katrina, but most of his possessions are at his home in Arlington. Gerry is there, too. Washington's mother, one sister and one brother are still in New Orleans but are ready to join other family in Houston if they have to evacuate.

Washington hopes for the best and focuses on his job as manager.

"There's nothing I can do about it," Washington said. "If something happens before like Katrina, I'll get my insurance money and become a Texan.

"Mother Nature ... it would be different if you could blow fans up in the air and wish the hurricane the other way. But if you did that, you would wish it on somebody else. You just hope the good Lord doesn't blow New Orleans off the map."

Washington was with the Oakland Athletics as their third-base coach when Katrina hit, and his family evacuated safely ahead of the storm. But it was three months before he could see his house, which is located in the Ninth Ward, and he had to live in an apartment for two years while he rebuilt it.

"The foundation was still there," Washington said. "I gutted it out, tore it down to the studs and worked up that way. But there's nothing you can do. If it happens, I'll get the house assessed, get the insurance money, put it up for sale, get what I can for it and let you handle it.

"But I don't think the levees are going to break again. New Orleans has been handling hurricanes before for a long time. That was a freak thing. We had serious hurricanes before and were all right."

T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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