Laurel mayor reflects back on Katrina

By Ontario Richardson – bio | email | Twitter

LAUREL, MS (WDAM) - Days after Katrina plowed through Mississippi, Governor Haley Barbour announced Jones County was the second hardest hit area in the state.

It's a statement Laurel Mayor Melvin Mack said he strongly agrees with. Mack said the reality of the category 3 hurricane is one his city will never forget.

"That was my first term as mayor and I had been in office 55 days. I never will forget it."

Hurricane Katrina came through Laurel packing winds at 120 miles per hour. The storm lasted for hours, but once it was over, Mayor Mack said the people were in awe at the devastation and in need of help.

"Everybody in the world wanted water and ice, and we didn't have any" said Mack.

Mack said the people of  Laurel and Jones County came together and took care of their own.

"It was just amazing. It was just simply amazing, but we stuck together and we pulled through that. That was by far the worst natural disaster in the history of Mississippi or this nation. We fought through it and I think that we done [sic] an extremely good job."

Mayor Mack said the devastation came and went, but in the hearts of the people of Laurel and Jones County, Katrina will never be forgotten.

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