Living in South Georgia two years after Katrina - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Living in South Georgia two years after Katrina

August 29, 2007

Lee County -- Thousands of people who lived in Louisiana and Mississippi two years ago when Hurricane Katrina struck left that area after the storm for good.

One couple from Slidell, Louisiana ended up in Lee County. Wednesday morning Don and Fran Person say they have thought a lot about two years ago.

They left their home of ten years in Slidell Louisiana, evacuating to outside Memphis to ride out Hurricane Katrina, and on television watched the storm devastate the gulf coast. Fran Person said "I cried and I cried."

Don Person said "there was nothing on the news about Slidell. It was a black hole as far as all the news. .They just couldn't get anything. Slidell is a suburb of New Orleans on Lake Pontchartran."

 Two days later they drove back home, to find most of their hometown destroyed, but their home survived. Don Person said "it was standing as proud as a peacock. So we were very happy to see our house. There were trees down everywhere."

But without power and the gulf coast devastated, they could not stay long. Don Person said "hot, stinking, you could smell death all around us. It was just the smell, the stench." After six months, Don and Fran said the devastation, traffic, and problems of living in the hurricane battered area was too much.

Fran Person said "we just decided we could not stay anymore, I did not want to stay."

They moved to Lee County, where Fran grew up, and now calls home again. They go back to Louisiana often for work and visit family, but don't think about returning. Fran Person said "no, absolutely not. We don't have to worry now about Hurricanes, or what's going to happen."

Don and Fran say this anniversary of Hurricane Katrina is a sad one, to remember what the storm destroyed. Fran Person said "the thing we say is, they ain't there no more. So to me it's sad."

 Refugees from Hurricane Katrina, now living happily in South Georgia.

The Persons say they often answer questions about Hurricane Katrina because so many people still want to talk about it today.

feedback: news@walb.com?subject=KatrinaRefugees

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