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After Katrina, a town of fishermen teeters on brink

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The story of Yscloskey, 30 miles east-southeast of New Orleans, seems the story of all of St. Bernard Parish, where a dozen or so towns are strung out along a 2,000-square-mile web of marshlands, oak ridges, winding bayous and barrier beaches -- "God's country," says Ronald Robin. Nearby New Orleans, where the historic French Quarter and much of the Garden District escaped serious storm damage, will pump out its wrecked neighborhoods, rebuild and go on. But St. Bernard, a working-class place of 60,000 people settled more than 200 years ago by a gumbo of Canary Island Spaniards, French Creoles and Cajuns, Italians and Yugoslavs seems rent almost beyond repair. Though parish officials pluckily vow to rebuild these towns where pirates once roamed and Andrew Jackson once defended New Orleans from the British Army, St. Bernard is now a place without a core.

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