Looking Back: Influx of people came to Atmore in 2005

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Hurricane Katrina was still on the minds of Atmore residents during the middle of September of 2005. Although Atmore did not suffer a direct hit from the storm, it caught the fringes and did have some damage.

The biggest problem was the influx of people who were escaping from the coast of Mississippi and Louisiana. There had been a run on gasoline stations and gas was running really low. Due to distribution problems the gas was not being delivered to the gas stations.

There were four Diamond stations in the Atmore area that had to shut their doors until they could be restocked. Not only did this present a problem for those running from the storm, but locals were also caught with shortages.

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There were many people who chose to evacuate the coast and move inland, that all the hotels and motels were full. People were taking what shelter they could. Two stories stood out to me about locals and strangers who stepped up to the mark to help.

One story was about Hooper Matthews opening his home to a large family that had come from Louisiana with no place to stay.

Another story was the coming together of a couple of churches to give the children a

break from having to deal with a storm that had taken over their lives. Brooks Memorial and First United Methodist Churches together managed to treat the kids that had been displaced by the storm and were having to live in a motel.

The Red Cross opened a shelter and handed out vouchers for food and clothing. They were swamped with people trying to get the vouchers.

The storm disaster resource team was having a yard sale to raise money for the victims and asking for materials to take into the disaster area.

In other news, a suspect was captured in River Falls. He was charged with the murder of George Eugene Dubose.

A glance back in “looking at history” of 40 years ago (1965), there was an article about he Blue Devils, who beat Evergreen 26-0.

The Escambia County Sheriff’s Department was looking for an armed robber who struck Fastlane Convenience Store.

Lastly, Escambia County High School was evacuated for about two hours when a gas line was accidently cut by a construction crew that was working at the school. It was quickly repaired and no one was hurt.