Memories of Katrina

Published 7:00 am Saturday, September 2, 2017

As a southern boy, hurricanes have always been a part of life.

Through my time living in hurricane-prone areas, I can recall at least two storms that brought significant damage, and a number of storms that caused our family to be on alert.

Several times we were checked out of school early, only to have our parents take us home and prepare for the worst. As our mother put us to bed that night, she

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told us what to listen for in case the storm produced a tornado; the sound of a train.

But the biggest storm I ever rode out was Hurricane Katrina. The winds were

severe, plenty of rain fell and I even stepped outside the door to experience the temporary calm that occurred as the eye passed over Pearl River County.

It wasn’t ideal, especially when the electricity and running water became absent for a week or two. The absence of those two utilities we take for granted so much today was the hardest part of staying for Katrina. And while it was hot, humid and our only communication with friends and family was face-to-face, to me, it wasn’t that bad. But we didn’t flood.

This year, Hurricane Harvey made landfall on the Texas coast, and in combination with the storm surge, the worst part was the incessant rain, which flooded many areas of that state.  And, while residents of the Lone Star State have a lot of cleaning up to do, another storm churns in the Atlantic.

Many of the storms that enter the Gulf of Mexico originate in that ocean. That doesn’t mean we will definitely see the effects of Hurricane Irma, but anything is possible.

While it’s my hope that the storm will just veer off into the ocean, impacting no place and no one, preparation is key to making the most of an unfortunate situation. Think back to Katrina. Many of us were unprepared, but the stuff we did have on-hand prior to the storm made our lives much easier until power and water were restored.