First Reader and I spent a good bit of yesterday keeping tabs on Hurricane Ida. Not because we expect to be directly affected in any significant way, rather we knew Louisiana and Mississippi were about to get clobbered (again) on the anniversary of Hurricane Katrina.
First Reader and I remember Katrina vividly. We lived about 140 miles inland and still got hammered: trees down, power out for days…but what I remember most were the refugees. HWYs 55 North and 20 East & West were full of people fleeing the worst of the devastation, and Jackson MS was the hub for most of that. We met a lot of people from the New Orleans area. Some made it back. Others were permanently displaced and came to live near Jackson MS and elsewhere. I’ll never forget the human cost as long as I live.
What I’ll also remember is the dismissal of what happened in my home state, which Ida painfully reminded us both. Talking heads talking about the damage in Louisiana, Texas, and Alabama, forgetting MS altogether. My home state has its issues, I know that. But it didn’t deserved to be ignored. Entire towns on the MS coast were nearly washed away during Katrina. Waveland for one, and Bay St. Louis, probably the prettiest little town in MS. We got the distinct feeling no one cared.
Back to Ida. Some people were describing it as Katrina’s Anniversary Party. Fortunately, it wasn’t quite that bad, nor was the omission of MS quite as blatant. Plus Ida seems to have vented most of its fury on the coast, and unlike Katrina, didn’t save much for further north. Very bad for the coastal communities, as any hurricane is going to be, but right now power outages may be the worst that happens in the rest of the states.
We’re breathing with some relief up here, because we have friends and family more in the path of the storms, we’re very aware of what could have happened, and they’re reporting safe. So that’s a lot.
My heart goes out to those on the coast. All of them.