11 Sep '05 -11:59
Katrina in Lubbock

Lubbock, the Hub City of the South Plains, was impacted by Katrina, even though it is almost 1,000 miles from the Louisiana/Mississippi Gulf Coast. Here are two reports from my friend Johnny Hughes (more)

Biloxi kids take charge

A week ago, the hallways of Mary L Michel Seventh Grade School bustled with hundreds of young students from Biloxi beginning the new school year. Today, those same hallways in the two-story, red-brick school are filled with African-American, Vietnamese-American, and Anglo-American families from Biloxi who no longer have homes.

Giant fans positioned at the end of each darkened hallway provide minimal relief from the damp heat. Children’s artwork decorates the wall including one poster with sparkles that reads Michel 7th Grade New Tradition Begins. Outside, drying clothes hang from fences surrounding the tennis courts and walkway railings while people wander around aimlessly among the piles of leaves, paper, twisted corrugated tin, plastic cups and a tattered copy of a language textbook with dazed looks on their faces as they wait without knowing exactly what they’re waiting for while one older Vietnamese gentleman patiently cooks sausages on a hibachi grill outdoors. Inside, the restrooms reek of excrement. Thursday night, shortly after the portable generators were shut down, some of the new residents sleeping on the floor had to be evacuated upstairs when one hallway became flooded with backed up sewage.

At the end of one hallway, next to the nurse’s office, beneath a paper mache poster festooned with cut outs of a treasure chest filled with doubloons surrounded by glittering fish that read Treasures from the Deep, a hero is curled up in a beige blanket in the hallway, sleeping soundly, oblivious to the racket in the hall and the significance of what he has done. (more)

Michael Claudel, bar hero

We were looking for Reggie Barrios on Hwy 90 west of Bay St. Louis when we pulled into the parking lot of the Log Cabin, a barebones Mississippi roadhouse. Instead, we found another tale of uncommon heroism in the heat of the moment, as related by Michael Claudel. (more)

Virginia Task Force Two

Captain John Rigolo, leader of eighty troops from Virginia Task Force Two from Virginia Beach, VA, paused while his troops rested under the twisted awning of what once was a gas station in Waveland, to explain his force’s role. (more)

Tim Brewer cleans up

Here's one US Army soldier's perspective from Waveland, Mississippi (more)

O'Gwin Brothers Boat Heroes

From Friday’s New York Times” “On Thursday afternoon, Horace Hodges, another temporary tenant, made the rounds, carrying two buckets and offering to fetch water from a murky, puce-colored swimming pool to fill people's toilet tanks. In the parking lot, a wharf rat the size of a small dog scurried underfoot as Howard O'Gwin Jr., who was living in one room with nine other family members, two dogs and a bird, unloaded bottled water from a shopping cart.”

Here’s the rest of the story: (more)

Brice Phillips, Radio Hero

After Katrina decimated the western Mississippi coast, the first contact with the outside world was WQRZ-FM, the low power community station that functioned as just as Brice Phillips, the station's founder, anticipated. Brian "Hootie" Adam, the Emergency Management director for Hancock County, calls Phillips "a hero" for good reason. (more)

Reggie Barrios, Hwy 90 Hero

Reggie Barrios and his crew didn't wait for help to arrive from the outside.
He led the rescue of 30 people along Hwy 90 near the Louisiana line from the storm surge that followed Katrina's arrival, then got busy bringing the area back to life, tapping artesian wells on his property to provide the only clean running water for miles around. (more)

08 Sep '05 -09:11
Mississippi Coast report

Here's some of the raw reporting I did for People magazine from the Mississippi coast. I'll try and post photographs and perhaps audio files when I figure out how to. | Read entire story.

05 Sep '05 -20:55
Back from Mississippi

I just came back from the Mississippi coast covering Katrina for People magazine. (more)