As Hurricane Gustav thunders into the Gulf, the people of Pearlington brace themselves for the unthinkable.
National Guard soldiers will enter Pearlington this morning, as Hancock County - as well as much of the Louisiana and Mississippi Gulf Coast - is under a mandatory evacuation order. Last night, as many packed up the very valuable things they lost once before in Katrina, traffic was extremely heavy on Hwy. 90, I-10, I-59 and Hwy. 603. National Guard soldiers on Mississippi's coast were going door to door to alert thousands of families in FEMA trailers and cottages that they should be prepared to evacuate today. In Alabama 3,000 National Guard personnel assembled to help evacuees from Mississippi and Louisiana.
I am also preparing to return to Pearlington should Gustav wreak the kind of havoc on Pearlington that would be reminiscent of Katrina.
I am asking all C.O.D.R.A. members and others reading this posting to contact me, if you or your group are able to respond immediately should it become necessary. I am in cell phone contact with several residents who have promised to keep me updated as the storm moves closer and then makes landfall.
The good people of Pearlington may be facing what they themselves are calling "another disaster."
But they will not be facing it alone.
"Canada" Jon White
Dancing with Katrina
Tomorrow will be three years since so many of us began dancing with Katrina.
Life can turn on a dime and all our plans and goals re-arranged like so many sticks of furniture in a flood. Maybe that's a good thing. Maybe it teaches us to live more in the moment and to remember that NOW is the only time we truly have and we had better make the most of it. Perhaps, as Joseph Campbell said, "we must be willing to get rid of the life we've planned, so as to have the life that is waiting for us."
I have decided I will return to Pearlington, in early November, to have a look around and to see how I can be of further assistance. There is still much to do there. I will dance a few more steps with Katrina and see where she leads me.
Tomorrow, I will say a prayer for all my friends in Mississippi and along the coast. I will remember all the brave and selfless volunteers who came to help. I will read my old stories and recall those early days, when we didn't really know what we were doing, but did it anyway.
God bless Pearlington, MS.Footnote 12:05 p.m. I am keeping an eye on Gustav. I have spoken by phone with Susie Sharpe, who is getting ready to flee, if necessary, and - of course - helping her neighbours to be ready to do the same.For the sake of the people of the coast, I pray it is NOT much sooner that I must return to Pearlington....
Greetings to any and all who still may venture here!
I was called back into service briefly today by Laurie Spaschak to correct a particularly nasty corruption of a link to one of our C.O.D.R.A. members. It appears their url has been hijacked by something completely repugnant and, shall I say, felonious.
Today is my birthday and it is my habit to review the past year and to envision the year ahead. I cannot look back without thinking of Pearlington and remembering that Katrina's anniversary is approaching. Laurie has asked me to update some of the information on this blog and I will do so in the coming days.
And I wonder how things are now in Pearlington....
"Canada Jon" White