Sunday, August 29, 2010
Five years ago we were glued to the TV as Hurricane Katrina finally hit the Gulf states. The center of the storm came ashore on top of Waveland, Mississippi. That's where my friend Patti Brown grew up. Patti owns ALB Fabrics/The Quilted Butterfly quilt shop in Morehead City, NC. We talked several times during Katrina week. We both felt so helpless! The news only got worse in the weeks that followed. The devastation from the storm was so complete that it was hard to comprehend. Only pictures can express the horror.
These two pictures was taken two days after Katrina from a NOAA helicopter. The formerly beautiful waterside towns of Waveland and Bay St. Louis were almost wiped off the map. The cement slabs of homes and businesses were all that remained of most structures. A few, like Christ Episcopal Church in Waveland, were recognizable due to a distinctive feature. See the church bell tower below.
Patti had lived through Hurricane Camille and knew what awaited us. I was not quite so prepared. Memories of the trees still haunt me. (photo by Brendan Holder) There it all was--people's lives--still caught 30 feet up in the branches of the old oaks. It was the spookiest landscape I've ever seen.
Why was there stuff in the trees 30 feet up? Because that's how tall the Katrina wave was when it came ashore August 29th. The wave picture was snapped from the third floor balcony of Saint Stanislaus in Bay St. Louis as seen (left) after the storm. I can only imagine how terrifying that must have been.
We arrived in Waveland on time and set up for quilt distribution. People arriving for church services knew we were coming. They lined up and chose quilts for themselves and for absent friends and relatives. For many, it was the first time since Katrina that they were able to give someone else something. One little boy chose quilts for his school class. There were enough to go around and a few left over went to a hospital. It was a magical day.
For more images and information, go to Patti's website: http://www.quiltedbutterfly.com/quilts_coast.html .
written by Pepper Cory