Joe Herman checked his Blackberry as he stepped off a flight in Los Angeles Sunday night, Aug. 28. “Every other word was Katrina,” he recalls. Herman, senior vice-president-operations for the Group 1 Automotive Inc. dealership chain, was on his way home to Houston, after vacationing. “We didn’t hear anything about Katrina while we were in the South Pacific,” he says. Group 1 convoy arrives in New Orleans. Early the next morning, even as Katrina began battering Alabama, ...

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