Evacuees fear the worst, hope for the best - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Evacuees fear the worst, hope for the best

The Highway 90 Bridge coming into Biloxi exists only as pilings. (Courtesy WLBT, Jackson) The Highway 90 Bridge coming into Biloxi exists only as pilings. (Courtesy WLBT, Jackson)
An untold number of homes were simply crushed by Katrina. (Courtesy WLBT, Jackson) An untold number of homes were simply crushed by Katrina. (Courtesy WLBT, Jackson)
A casino still stands, while adjacent property is in splinters. (Courtesy WLBT, Jackson) A casino still stands, while adjacent property is in splinters. (Courtesy WLBT, Jackson)

August 30, 2005

Albany, Ga. -- Tuesday morning we found a family of nearly 30 preparing to bid farewell to the Peach State, and begin their long journey home-- to Mississippi.

Twenty-eight people, eight cars, three dogs, two babies, one family; packing up and heading home-- to see if there is a home left.

"We're going to get as close as we can, and take as much time as it's going to take to get there, because that's our home, whether it's there or not. (And we have a chain saw) If we have to cut trees out of the road to get home, that's what we'll do," says Connie Debenport.

The family Matriarch led all out of harm's way. Along with her four daughters and their families, they all live in three Mississippi Counties: Stone, Harrison and Hancock.

Already, 80 people are feared dead in Harrison County and many homes have been leveled in Hancock. One of them may have been Debenports. She says, "I figured I wasn't going to have a house. I kind of thought that before I left, but I'm pretty sure now."

But she is going home, even if her house is no longer standing, her family will stand by her side. Connie Debenport said they found an alternate way home in order to avoid the interstate.

She fears it may take until Friday to get to get back to her house.

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