Katrina's impact on the Jackson metro area; 5 years later - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Katrina's impact on the Jackson metro area; 5 years later

By David Kenney - bio | email

JACKSON, MS (WLBT) - Hurricane Katrina was still packing a powerful punch as it made it's way up to central Mississippi.

In the metro area, heavy winds and rains caused extensive damage.

The pictures from five years ago are unbelievable, six-foot swells on the Ross Barnett Reservoir.

The I-55 Car Care Clinic oil change garage was demolished by Katrina's winds.

There was even a fatality recorded in Belhaven, after a tree was knocked down, killing a 79-year-old woman trapping her inside.

Former Hinds County E.O.C. Director Larry Fisher says, "You would go to an area where there was extensive damage, then you could drive three to four miles beyond and there would be no leaves off the trees."

Fisher remembers Hurricane Katrina's sheer power like it happened just yesterday.

He says it was a slow moving storm, which extended the damage.

"There were several bands found though the city of Jackson where you could literally take a map and show that circular pattern, in this general area I was able to measure wind speeds gusts up to 85 miles-per-hour," says Fisher.

That wind caused the most damage, knocking out power to some areas for over two weeks.

There were gas shortages when there were no power at the pumps.

Long lines formed there, and at ice distribution centers.

Fisher says, "Debris in certain areas taking down a number of power lines, lost major infrastructure of our electrical system and our water system as well. It was like a maze trying to get to work."

Fisher says it was cooperation between local governments which allowed his response to be effective, in the worst natural disaster to hit the United States.

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