Alabama coastal residents remember the impact of Katrina - WDAM-TV 7-News, Weather, Sports-Hattiesburg, MS

Alabama coastal residents remember the impact of Katrina

Posted by: Mario Hendricks - bio | email

DAUPHIN ISLAND, AL (WSFA) - Although most of the damage was in Louisiana and Mississippi, Hurricane Katrina killed two people here in Alabama and caused damage in 22 counties along the coast.

That day, Dauphin Island was hit with a fifteen foot storm surge. 350 homes were washed away and the island was forever changed.

The visible destruction was bad enough, but even more startling is the emptiness. House after house washed away.

"Disaster. It was a disaster."

Christine Dopson's home wasn't one of those that washed away but it was quite some time before she could get to her home and know for sure.

"We couldn't for months, like three months. Dirt road gone...Trees...Sand," explained Dopson.

In fact a good chunk of the island disappeared. More than a mile was washed away creating two islands across what is now called "Katrina Cut".

Dauphin Island Mayor Jeff Collier says what's happened over the last decade has been unprecedented. Katrina, Ivan, Dennis, Gustav, Ike, and countless tropical storms.

"It's been uncharacteristic, with the number of storms we've had. With each storm the island gets beat up a bit more and it really just hasn't had a lot of time to heal itself," stated Mayor Collier.

Although there's been no storms this summer, there's been an economic disaster created by the oil spill.

"We were looking for this to be our comeback year and the oil spill has kind of delayed that by one additional season," added Mayor Collier.

Collier says getting home construction going again is critical. Of the 350 homes washed away by Katrina, only 50 have been rebuilt.

For people that live here there's a high level of uncertainty over the island's future.

According to Christine Dopson, "It's very scary for the people that live here. I guess more than anything people who own homes can we sell them? Can we live here? Is it safe to live here?"

Residents along the Alabama coast say they will rebuild with time. The question is will the storms hold off so that they can.

As we approach the peak of this hurricane season EMA officials urge folks to have a plan and stay informed.

Alabama EMA officials say one of the biggest lessons learned after the storm was a need for more shelters.

You may remember, many people took refuge here in Montgomery.

Copyright 2010 WSFA. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

  • Local NewsLOCALMore>>

  • 2 jailed after failed robbery in Hub City

    2 jailed after failed robbery in Hub City

    Thursday, November 23 2017 10:51 PM EST2017-11-24 03:51:45 GMT
    Source: WDAMSource: WDAM
    A pair of suspects are behind bars after an apparent drug deal went bad at a Hub City motel.  Hattiesburg police responded to the Deluxe Inn at 900 Broadway Drive for a report of a robbery.  “As officers were conducting their investigation, it was determined that the victim and suspect would both be charged,” said Hattiesburg Police Capt. Branden McLemore.  Amos Ball and Laquan Jones were both arrested at the scene and charged with conspiracy to commit a ...More >>
    A pair of suspects are behind bars after an apparent drug deal went bad at a Hub City motel.  Hattiesburg police responded to the Deluxe Inn at 900 Broadway Drive for a report of a robbery.  “As officers were conducting their investigation, it was determined that the victim and suspect would both be charged,” said Hattiesburg Police Capt. Branden McLemore.  Amos Ball and Laquan Jones were both arrested at the scene and charged with conspiracy to commit a ...More >>
  • 1 injured, 1 jailed in Hattiesburg shooting

    1 injured, 1 jailed in Hattiesburg shooting

    Thursday, November 23 2017 9:40 PM EST2017-11-24 02:40:16 GMT
    Photo credit: WDAMPhoto credit: WDAM

    A Thursday night shooting injured one person and landed another behind bars in the Hub City.  Ahmed Atiefa was arrested and charged with one count of aggravated assault after a shooting at Fat Boys, located at 819 Edwards Street just after 6 p.m.  “A male threw a drink at the cashier, who was Atiefa, and he grabbed a gun and went around the counter and tried to kick the victim, and then shot the victim,” said Hattiesburg Police Capt. Branden McLemore.  Th...

    More >>

    A Thursday night shooting injured one person and landed another behind bars in the Hub City.  Ahmed Atiefa was arrested and charged with one count of aggravated assault after a shooting at Fat Boys, located at 819 Edwards Street just after 6 p.m.  “A male threw a drink at the cashier, who was Atiefa, and he grabbed a gun and went around the counter and tried to kick the victim, and then shot the victim,” said Hattiesburg Police Capt. Branden McLemore.  Th...

    More >>
  • Shoppers get a head start on Black Friday deals

    Shoppers get a head start on Black Friday deals

    Thursday, November 23 2017 8:58 PM EST2017-11-24 01:58:56 GMT
    source:wdamsource:wdam

    Black Friday technically starts the day after Thanksgiving, but for many people, Black Friday starts on Thanksgiving.

    People were lined up outside of retail stores such as Best Buy, Target, and JC Penny’s as early as 8 pm Thanksgiving Eve to be the first to catch the best deals.

    More >>

    Black Friday technically starts the day after Thanksgiving, but for many people, Black Friday starts on Thanksgiving.

    People were lined up outside of retail stores such as Best Buy, Target, and JC Penny’s as early as 8 pm Thanksgiving Eve to be the first to catch the best deals.

    More >>
Powered by Frankly