Remembering Hurricane Katrina, Five Years Later

By: Cathleen Moxley Email
By: Cathleen Moxley Email

This weekend will mark five years since Hurricane Katrina hit the Gulf Coast, killing more than 1,800 people and wreaking havoc in New Orleans and the surrounding area.

Now five years later, the painful memories are still fresh in some minds.

"There were lines of people outside, but we kept it pretty calm," Susan Hughes, a volunteer with the American Red Cross, said.

Hughes was one of several volunteers with the Mid-Ohio Valley chapter to assist in the recovery effort after Hurricane Katrina.

"There's a whole lot of talk about Louisiana. New Orleans, yeah it was destroyed, but nobody seems to remember Mississippi, and it was bad," she said.

That's where she did the majority of her work, helping those affected by the storm get back on their feet. She describes many of the areas they traveled through as ghost towns.

"One town I was going through, there was nothing. There was nobody there; just a sign of a gas station that used to be there," Hughes said.

It's one of many sight's she'll never forget.

"No house at all, just the foundation or just the stairs standing. Things strung all over, cars slammed into houses that were left, or into trees, or into other cars," she said.

But through all the water and destruction, Hughes kept her eye on the mission: bringing relief to devastated communities.

"At least the ones that got out got their lives. So we were giving them some kind of hope and a direction to start over again, and that's hard to start over," she said.


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