Pine Belt residents remember Hurricane Katrina

Pine Belt residents remember Hurricane Katrina

HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - Ten years ago Saturday, Hurricane Katrina struck the Gulf Coast, killing 1,833 people and causing more than $108 billion in damage.  On the tenth anniversary, many Pine Belt government leaders, community volunteers and first responders are sharing their memories of the storm.

"We were in our home and just purchased our home and had taken cover in our hallway, wondering if we were going to make it. It seemed like it went on forever and ever," said Chinika Hughes, who works in public relations for the City of Hattiesburg.

"We served a lot of meals at that time, helped a lot of people," said Danny Dickinson, who was a former disaster coordinator for the Hattiesburg Salvation Army. "It was hard for us, just like it was for the victims."

"It truly was a time when everyone did help each other and come together," said Theresa Erickson, executive director of the Greater PineBelt Community Foundation. "Neighbors were checking on neighbors and that's what I most remember about it."

"It was one of those bittersweet kind of things that we wish had not happened to us, but that was probably one of the best opportunities for us to show what a great city that we are," said Johnny Dupree, mayor of Hattiesburg.

Katrina was the largest and third strongest hurricane to ever hit the U.S.