Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

Sister Newspapers' Blogs

August 30, 2012

'I know now how Noah felt'

PICAYUNE, Miss. — I have been through most major hurricanes to hit the Mississippi Gulf Coast in my job as a reporter for the Picayune Item.

Those that stick out in memory include Hurricane Camille in 1969. It was small but considered one of the most powerful storms to hit the U.S. mainland. It killed almost 400 people and devastated the Gulf Coast. There were winds over 200 mph, and the storm completely leveled the city of Pass Christian near here.

One of my close friends was killed during the clean-up after the storm. He touched a downed high-voltage line.

Then there was Hurricane Katrina, in 2005, which killed several thousand in Mississippi and Louisiana, and devastated New Orleans, which is only 45 minutes south of Picayune on Interstate 59 and Interstate 10. It virtually wiped out three small cities on the Mississippi Gulf Coast. Katrina was big and powerful, and its storm surge did most of the damage along the coast.

So, how, you might ask, was Isaac different?

Hurricane Isaac wobbled on shore near Houma, La., not knowing where it was headed, and stalled. Pearl River County, Miss., where Picayune is located, was in the northeast quadrant, the area where winds are supposed to be highest and rains the most torrential.

While winds were in the 60 mph-range, rain was the hallmark of Isaac. From Tuesday night until Thursday, as I write this, band after band swept over the county with stiff winds but mostly torrential rains. The rains, which aren't supposed to let up until Friday morning, lashed homes and businesses and swept across vacant streets in sheets.

And it kept on and on. I realized that I know now how Noah felt.

When the rain doesn’t stop, you realize the creeks that flow through town will be gorged with runoff, and people you know - have known all your life - will be flooded and forced out of their homes.

Text Only
Sister Newspapers' Blogs
Bill Archer
AP Video
Raw: Thousands Flocking to German Crop Circle Obama Chides House GOP for Pursuing Lawsuit Raw: Otters Enjoy Water Slides at Japan Zoo Two Women Narrowly Avoid Being Hit by Train Raw: Plane Lands on New York Highway Raw: Amphibious Landing Practice in Hawaii Crayola Announces Family Attraction in Orlando Texas Scientists Study Ebola Virus Six PA Cops Indicted for Robbing Drug Dealers Wisc. Twins Celebrate a Century of Laughter LeBron James Sends Apology Treat to Neighbors Raw: Bolivian Dancers Attempt to Break Record Broken Water Main Floods UCLA Smartphone Powered Paper Plane Debuts at Airshow Harding Love Letters Now Open to Public In Virginia, the Rise of a New Space Coast Raw: Weapons Fire Hits UN School in Gaza Raw: 16 Killed in Gaza Market Strike Britain Testing Driverless Cars on Roadways Cat Fans Lap Up Feline Film Festival
Greg Jordan