By Barry Burleson
Mississippi newspaper publisher and good friend Jim Abbott of the Enterprise-Tocsin
in Indianola, recently saw Hurricane Katrina’s wrath firsthand on
the Mississippi Coast and shared observations via e-mail.
February 1971, a giant killer tornado raked across little Inverness,
Mississippi, just south of Indianola, leveling much of the town and
killing 13. I saw what the power of wind could do.
thought no storm in nature could be more destructive - until I saw what
Hurricane Katrina’s wind and storm surge did to the Mississippi
the end of Highway 49 where it intersects with Highway 90 (the beach
road), I stopped my weathered Explorer SUV momentarily and glanced at
the exploded remains of the Oceanarium where Cynthia and I had taken
Jim Jr. and Katie to see the dolphins and sea lions in 1977. Special
you leave downtown Gulfport and go east, the beachfront houses have
vanished, erased by Katrina’s storm surge - their crumbled remains
deposited hundreds of feet back from their foundations.”
more observations from Jim, like destroyed churches, restaurants and casinos.
favorite restaurant and landmark, Mary Mahoney’s, is “certainly
salvageable,” Jim reports. And the “magnificent live oak there
is still standing.”
of Monday afternoon, the fatality count in Mississippi stood at 219, according
to the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency.
updated figures on Monday, via the fax machine, include:
Electrical power associations of Mississippi report 16,224 meters
More than 95 percent of the water systems in Mississippi are now
operable. Statewide, 585 boil water notices were initially issued,
and now only 230 boil water notices are still in effect. Eighty-five
percent of wastewater plants on the Gulf Coast are now operable.
In Mississippi, there are 103 American Red Cross shelters open with
The Forestry Commission is advising the public not to burn debris
because of the increased risk of wildfires.
More than 332,202 Mississippi disaster victims have registered with
the Federal Emergency Management Agency, and more than $264,409,794
in payments have been approved. As of 3 p.m. Sunday, 25,421 disaster
victims had been to the seven open Disaster Recovery Centers in
Biloxi, Gulfport, Moss Point, Ocean Springs, Pascagoula, Poplarville
As of Friday, 1,549 travel trailers and mobile homes had been staged
with families occupying 519 of them.
School districts in Jefferson Davis County, Pearl River County,
Perry County, Poplarville and Stone County reopened Monday.
Other school opening dates include: Forrest County AHS, September
23; Lamar County, Lumberton, Moss Point and Ocean Springs, Sept.
26; Hancock County, Sept. 30; and Biloxi, Jackson County, Long Beach
and Pass Christian, October 3.
Mississippi Department of Transportation also faxed out an interesting
news release on Monday.
at MDOT announced that beginning Wednesday (Sept. 21), between the hours
of 7 a.m. and 12 noon, crews will begin the demolition of the Grand Casino
barge. Hurricane Katrina moved the casino onto Hwy. 90 near 30th Avenue
area surrounding the barge will be closed to all personnel until further
notice. A security perimeter will be set up by local authorities and strictly
enforced. A detour will be provided but motorists are asked to please
exercise extreme caution and patience when traveling in this area.
Report News: (662) 252-4261
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