Members of Forrest County EOC remember Hurricane Katrina - WDAM-TV 7-News, Weather, Sports-Hattiesburg, MS

Members of Forrest County EOC remember Hurricane Katrina

EOC staff Debbie Windham and Jim Hennessey remember the hurricane. photo credit: WDAM EOC staff Debbie Windham and Jim Hennessey remember the hurricane. photo credit: WDAM
FORREST COUNTY (WDAM) -

During the 11th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, members of the Forrest County EOC reflected on the time they spent working through one of the deadliest hurricanes to ever hit the United States. 

EOC Deputy Director Debbie Windham and EOC communication director Jim Hennessey spent 21 days living inside the Emergency Management Complex.  

“You were working 24-7 you’d take a little nap and start at it again,” Hennessey said. 

Windham said she was surprised by how much the storm affected Hattiesburg. 

“The town looked totally different, you had to stop and think where you were, there was no power or traffic lights or anything,” Windham said. “A storm of that magnitude made our city look completely different.”

Windham said she frequently worried about her family back at home while she was at work. She had two trees fall through her home, but luckily her family was not hurt.

"That was the hard part for us because we know we can't be at home with them and there is the worry of that going on,” Windham said. “It’s good to know that none of them were hurt.”

The Hurricane damaged 9,000 structures and killed seven people in Forrest County.

However, Hennessey said despite this tragedy he saw the community come together to rebuild the city.

“I think the storm brought the best and worst in people because all of a sudden you had neighbors helping neighbors,” Hennessey said. "People stepped up and looked after each other."

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