“After the Rain” Tells Katrina Survivor’s Story

Ten years ago marked a dark chapter here in South Mississippi as Katrina made landfall, but the page has turned over the past decade.
News 25’s Kristen Durand tells the story of a woman from Bay St. Louis who has chronicled her traumatic experience in the storm and the gradual dawning of a new day once the storm settled.
Like many South Mississippians, shock set in when Bay St. Louis resident Erin Akey returned to see what Katrina had done to her home. It was an overwhelming experience for the single mother of three. “I just sat down in the street and cried,” said Akey, “At that point I thought, ‘how am I going to tell my kids their home is gone, they have nothing.’ It’s a very hopeless, helpless feeling; you don’t know what you’re going to do.”
A blue planter is the only identifiable remnant of Erin Akey’s home. It’s now just a slab and a memory. “I hear of people going through terrible, terrible times, and they probably feel like their situation is hopeless. I felt that way. I get that, but I just persevered and picked myself back up and now my life is better than it’s ever been,” said Akey.
Now, ten years later, instead of fixating on the loss, she’s focusing on the beauty that emerged from the ruins. She has since relocated to Mobile, where she met her adoring husband and has outlined how her life is now overflowing with hope and happiness, an unexpected silver lining of the storm. “The book is absolutely my heart. It’s my story of how I just never dreamed my life would turn out like this and you truly never know what beautiful things are going to come from something that seems really bad.”
Erin and her husband are also helping others who find themselves traveling down a similar path through their new charity Eye of the Storm Relief. “A portion of the proceeds from every book we use for our hurricane relief charity, that’s become my mission.”
If you’d like to purchase a signed copy of her book visit erikakey.com or you can meet her in person at her book signing in Bay St. Louis this Saturday at the Mockingbird Café from 3 to 5 p.m.

Categories: Local News, News

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