County did its part to help Katrina

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, August 30, 2006

evacuees last year

&#8220And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these My brethren, ye have done it unto Me.” - Matthew 25:40

As Hurricane Ernesto churns up a load of trouble in the Caribbean and begins a slow march across Cuba to potentially impact Florida, one year later New Orleans, Gulfport and Biloxi are still dealing with Hurricane Katrina's impact on the Gulf Coast and the nation.

A question poised by a radio talk show host the night before Katrina pounded ashore on Aug. 29, asked if the death knell of an American city was sounding. The night before, Katrina, fueled by the warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico had grown to Category 5 strength and was packing winds of nearly 175 miles per hour. Forecasters predicted it would hit New Orleans, swamping the fragile levees and leaving much of The Big Easy underwater.

Katrina, weakened to a Category 3, struck the coast, missing New Orleans but pummeling Mississippi coastal cities. New Orleans appeared to have dodged a bullet.

But the levees broke. Millions were displaced as the waters flooded homes. Nightly, we sat stunned in front of our televisions as life and death played out before our very eyes. All forms of government - from local to state to federal - failed to provide an adequate response to the disaster, prompting outrage from American citizens.

In the chaos, however, there was humanity as cities across the nation welcomed evacuees. In Greenville we did our part to help. We sheltered those fleeing the storm and provided food, comfort, prayer and clothing. No one was turned away.

In the midst of the biggest natural disaster to affect the United States in our time, we should be proud to know we did our part to help our fellow Americans in their darkest hour.