Looking back: 10 years later

Published 7:00 am Tuesday, August 18, 2015

At the end of this month Gulf Coast residents will look back and reflect on what occurred exactly 10 years ago, and just about every story will include the words Hurricane Katrina.
Over this past decade it’s hard not to denote the time some event occurred with the addition of “before” or “after Katrina”. Just ask any resident when the new fire station was built or when the county finally replaced the aging Chimney Square with something more modern that didn’t leak every time it rained. Those answers will be “after Katrina.”
Growing up in Louisiana all I heard about was how my parents survived Betsy and subsequently Camille back in the 60s. Those were the benchmark all other storms were held, until Katrina.
Now, most residents in Pearl River County will look back on that day late in August of 2005 and, for the most part, think they came out better than 90 percent of the people who live just 30 miles south of Pearl River County.
What I remember from the storm is scrambling for supplies in stores with little left on the shelves, being awoken to high winds in the middle of the night and watching my elderly neighbor cut and move trees with a tractor during the eye of the storm. Additionally, I recall seeing groups of locals hit the roads with their own chainsaws, trucks and employ elbow grease to get a head start on clearing roads the next day.
It was inspiring to see these guys take the initiative to help get the things back to normal, so much so I got up out of my seat and gave them a hand until the sun fell. Admittedly I wasn’t much help outside of moving cut trees from the road, but seeing them put forth such effort prompted me to help.
So, 10 years later here we all sit, hopefully better off for what we’ve experienced and learned from Katrina.

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