Hurricane Katrina

‘They are going through the same thing,’ says mayor at ground zero of Hurricane Katrina

Waveland Alderman Charlie Piazza places a wreath on a Hurricane Katrina memorial in Waveland on Tuesday.
Waveland Alderman Charlie Piazza places a wreath on a Hurricane Katrina memorial in Waveland on Tuesday. jclark@sunherald.com

For some people, the 12th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina was a day not only for reflecting on the past, but for being in the moment.

As rain fell over Hancock County on Tuesday morning, residents gathered for the annual prayer service at Ground Zero, a Katrina-themed museum. But this year took a different tone.

They prayed for the victims of Harvey, a category 4 hurricane when it hit Texas on Friday, now a tropical storm. It has brought — and continues to bring — unprecedented levels of rain to the fourth-largest city in the country, Houston, and surrounding areas.

“We are glad today is the 12th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, because that means it’s behind us,” Waveland Mayor Mike Smith said. “But we feel sadly for the people of Texas because we know they are going through the same thing we went through 12 years ago — maybe even worse.”

On Monday, Aug. 29, 2005, Hurricane Katrina struck the Mississippi Gulf Coast. Waveland was considered “ground zero” for the storm. An almost 30-foot seawall nearly destroyed the town. Twenty-five people were killed in Waveland during the storm. The names of the deceased are etched in stone in a monument in front of the museum.

The Rev. Michael Marascalco of St. Clare Catholic Church said faith will continue to guide the people of the Gulf Coast, including those in Texas.

“Faith got us through it and faith will continue to get us through it,” he said. “Faith is what got us through this 12 years ago and faith will get us through whatever happens in our lives.”

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