What Will be the Biggest Story of 2015 on the Coast?
On August 29th, 2005, the face of the Mississippi Gulf Coast changed when one of the worst natural disasters in U.S. history leveled the area. For the upcoming 10th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, the Coast is ready to show off to the rest of the nation its resiliency. Vincent Creel, Public Affairs Manager for Biloxi, says, "This storm was not only unprecedented in the level of destruction, but it’s unprecedented in the level of recovery. I mean never in the history of this country have we seen such a tremendous recovery like this, and it’s our obligation to tell people how far we’ve come, what challenges we faced, and what we’re still working on."
In order to do that, a forum is in the works with national news outlets that will include local officials talking about the recovery process and what still needs to be done. Connie Moran, Mayor of Ocean Springs, says, "I know that for mid-summer, there is already being planned a forum for some of the mayors and other elected officials to participate in so we can see that happening in July."
The Ohr O’Keefe Museum in Biloxi will also be hosting a multimedia outreach program from March to August, featuring local news stories and artifacts from the storm. Creel also says, "We’re hoping that Katrina was a once in a lifetime experience. We’re hoping that this recovery is a once and a lifetime experience, but we owe it to our future generations and our past generations to show them how we got through this."
To honor the 10th anniversary, the Ground Zero Museum in Waveland is inviting back all of the first responders and volunteers who helped clean up and rebuild south Mississippi. Lili Stahler Murphy, Director of the Ground Zero Museum, says, "We’re gonna’ have a first responder cook off again, only this time, it’s going to be bigger where we will invite the first responders on a national level, like the Red Cross and the National Guard."
Many more events are in the works to commemorate the comeback of the Mississippi Gulf Coast.