Escambia County dodged a bullet as Katrina made landfall

Published 10:37 am Wednesday, September 2, 2015

The last few days of August of 2005 will live in the memories of those who suffered from the wrath of Hurricane Katrina. After making landfall in Florida, it swooped down on the Gulf and churned itself into the monster that made a second landfall on the Louisiana coast on Aug. 29.

Escambia County dodged the bullet on this one. Although there was wind and rain, we failed to suffer a direct hit here in Escambia County.

Those in Bay Minette and Mobile were not so lucky. But, even they did not feel the brunt of the storm as New Orleans did.

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The newspapers were full of local photos, but it would be days, or even weeks, before the whole truth of the storm was known.

Those people who were fleeing from the storm swept into our area and soon there were no hotels available and there were long lines at all the gas stations. Some of the gas stations were running out of gas and later some even were shut down. What gas could be found was at a premium with prices skyrocketing. There was a limit of 25 gallons at the tank and with all the influx of people from Mississippi and Louisiana, it ran out quickly. Of course, in 2015, we have grown accustomed to high prices at the pump, but thank goodness there are no long lines.

As always seems to happen, the best came out of the citizens of Atmore and the surrounding area. By now most of us have suffered through at least one storm, and some of us have suffered through several.

There were all kinds of deeds of kindness that came to the surface and once again it was proven just how big hearts can be.

Hotels were soon filled and still people were dreaming in. A group stopped by Buster’s and the waitresses stepped up, finding a place for the people to stay. Red Cross shelters were open and churches and businesses were called upon to help with food and shelter. Joey’s Furniture set up a place to give donations and other businesses joined to do whatever they could.

It just brings to mind and enforces the fact that people are basically good. Yes, there are exceptions, but we all can be proud of what we can really do in the worst of circumstances. Who knows, we could be the next to need help.