Harvey shows similarities to Katrina

Published 7:00 am Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Katrina and Harvey; those names don’t refer to a couple, but to two storms that came ashore in the United States at about the same time in the calendar year but 12 years apart.

Both occurred late in August, and both brought significant flooding to areas of the Gulf Coast.

There are also some similarities on how governmental officials handled these storms. During Katrina, emergency response from the Federal Emergency Management Agency was slow, causing major controversy. While Harvey is still affecting the southeastern area of Texas, preventing FEMA from moving in just yet, another controversy was sparked by the decision of Houston’s mayor to not tell residents to evacuate.

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Hurricanes are weather events to worry about. When one threatens a

particular area, people have to make a choice to head for high ground or to ride out the incessant rains, winds and potential flooding.

Most of the time the leaders of a town or state will issue an evacuation advisory to

ensure the public’s safety. But last week Houston’s mayor told his people to stay home.

Now, he’s taking a lot of criticism for issuing that message.

While his decision to tell people to stay home may not have been the best one, we have free will and the capacity to think for ourselves in these situations.

During Katrina, a number of Pearl River County residents didn’t evacuate.

While our area didn’t see the level of flooding Houston is dealing with now, Katrina was a dangerous storm. 

More storms will occur, some of which will strike the Mississippi coast.

When that occurs and a mandatory evacuation order is issued, we all have to come to the conclusion whether we would ignore that order and ride out a storm at home, or try to evacuate.

The best option is to head to dry land if you can, and to do so long before the traffic starts to build. It’s always better to be safe rather than sorry.