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In Katrina's Wake
10 Region, November 10, 2005
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Pearlington POD Information Board.  Flood water had reached the top of the brick on the building shown in the foreground of this photo.
Pearlington POD Information Board. Flood water had reached the top of the brick on the building shown in the foreground of this photo. - Photo Credit: n/a
Remains of a home within one mile of Pearlington POD, Hancock County, Mississippi.  The house was literally picked up and smashed against the tree by ruthless Katrina.
Remains of a home within one mile of Pearlington POD, Hancock County, Mississippi. The house was literally picked up and smashed against the tree by ruthless Katrina. - Photo Credit: n/a

Region 7 Fire Program Specialist, Laurie Thorpe, recently responded to a Type 2 team resource order to serve as Equipment Time Recorder at NASA Stennis Space Center in hurricane stricken Mississippi.  The Stennis Incident Command Post (normally about a one-hour drive from New Orleans) was a central distribution point for supplies, as well as a bed and breakfast for crews from around the nation assisting in the recovery efforts.  Tents, generators, air coolers, highway message boards, portable light towers, mobile hand wash and shower stations, golf carts/gators, vehicles, water trucks, fork lifts, communications trailer systems, and medical support units were hired to assist in the recovery efforts.  It was Laurie’s job to track this equipment use and process payment invoices through local and national payment centers.  She signed off for nearly a million dollars of equipment use during her 21 day assignment.

 

Under direction of the Forest Service at Stennis ICP, Incident Commanders Allen Johnson, and subsequently Dave LeFave, directed the work of several crews (typically hot shots who normally fought wildfire) in support of 5 Points of Distribution (PODs) in Hancock County, an area sorrowfully devastated in the wake of hurricane Katrina.  POD crews cleaned facilities that withstood Katrina’s blast, or set up tent operations in cleared parking lots to operate a life-link for displaced residents in need of essential food, water, and shelter.  PODs offered basic medical services, hot meals, port-o-potties, organized shelving for donated goods – clothing, toys, camping gear, you name it - and a gathering place for people to exchange information and help one-another.  PODs also had drive-thru service where crews loaded meals-ready-to-eat, bottled water and ice into more than a thousand vehicles each day.  


Contact Info: Kevin Painter, , kevin_painter@fws.gov



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