Eyes on Katrina
Saturday, September 10, 2005
Don Hammack is taking some needed time off, and now I'll be leaving for a day or two. One of us will be back to update you on the latest news going on in the area as soon as we can. Priscilla Frulla, my fellow news assistant, may be our special guest host if anything desperately needs to be blogged. Sorry to leave you...but we need the rest. ZZzzzz...
Our Lady of the Gulf, Bay St. Louis, will celebrate Mass on the steps of the church at 10 a.m. Sunday. St. Michael Parish, Biloxi, invites parishioners to attend Mass at Christ the King Church in Latimer at 9 a.m. Sunday. Sacred Heart Parish, D'Iberville, will celebrate Mass at Heritage Methodist Church, 4322 Popps Ferry Road, Biloxi, at 5 p.m. Sunday. Morning Masses will be held at the Diocesan Pastoral Center, 1790 Popps Ferry Road, Biloxi, at 8:30 and 10 a.m. Sunday. St. Patrick's Episcopal Church of Long Beach will meet at Coast Episcopal Church, 5065 Espy Ave. on Sunday at 10 a.m. for weekly services until further notice. Details: 324-7593. St. Peter's By-The-Sea Episcopal Church of Gulfport will meet at 8 a.m. Sunday on Switzer Park Pavillion between MGCCC Jefferson Davis and Handsboro Community Arts Center. The church will meet every following Sunday at the Handsboro Presbyterian Church at 9 a.m. Childcare is provided. Details: 229-6683. St. Luke Anglican Church, 555 Cowan Road, Gulfport, will have a special morning prayer service at 11 a.m. Sunday. Details: 875-9652.
A Sept. 11 commemerative ceremony will be held at 9:30 a.m. Sunday at D’Iberville Moose Lodge, 5145 West Gay Road, D'Iberville. A blood drive will take place from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Details: 392-2465.
Singing River Electric crews are working towards a goal of restoring power to all who can receive it by Sunday, Sept. 11. Crews are being reinforced in areas hardest hit, including the Vancleave, St. Martin, Ocean Springs and surrounding areas. They're also reinspecting lines in areas where power is back on to make sure all customers have restored power. Power restoration numbers, SREPA customers without power as of Sept. 10: -Wayne County: 20 out of 964 -Perry County: 180 out of 1,408 -George County: 295 out of 9,915 -Greene County: 290 out of 5,437 -Jackson County: 3,100 out of 46,214 -12-1,500 in the St. Andrews, Pinehurst and Gulf Park Estates area (much due to homes not being able to receive power due to structural or water damage) -1,500 in the western part of the service areas of Vancleave and St. Martin (an area that suffered great destruction) -100 members scattered throughout Jackson County (mostly homes that cannot receive power due to structural or water damage) -Total customers waiting to be restored: 3,885 out of 65,000 (little over 1,000 members served in Perry, Stone and Wayne counties and Mobile and Washington counties in Alabama).
American Red Cross Neighborhood Care Sites are now set up at nine locations, offering nursing staff to assess health issues, counseling and basic hygiene items: Food Tiger, I-110 and Division Street, Biloxi; Salvation Army, Howard Avenue and Bellman, Biloxi; West Elementary School, east parking lot, 15th and 41st, Gulfport; Good Deeds Community Center, 15101 Madison St., Gulfport; Bel-Aire Elementary, Community and Klein Road, Gulfport; Choice Market, Railroad Street at Pineville, Long Beach; West Harrison County Fire Station, DeLisle; Jack Reid Park, Goodyear Street, Picayune; and in front of Hancock County Hospital in the Edward Jones parking Lot, Bay St. Louis.
World Gym in Ocean Springs is now open. The Biloxi location will open Monday. Facilities, including showers, may be used by relief workers at no charge. Details: 388-7930.
There are quite a few opening in the area on Monday. Here are those that called the newsroom directly to let us know: Hogan Eye Clinic, Biloxi, will be open 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. Patients and anyone else needing opthamology care are welcome. Walk-ins and appointments being taken. Details: (228) 896-1120. Spraberry Dental Clinic, Orange Grove/Gulfport, will be open for emergency care including infection control and non-narcotic pain management. They offer a 70 percent disaster relief discount. Details: (228) 832-3231 or (228) 547-4930. Keesler Oncology patients are asked to go to another oncologist and have them call Dr. Samuel Wood at (210) 274-3434 or (228) 377-6458. Digestive Health Center, Ocean Springs and Pascagoula, will be open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday. Coastal Family Health Center will see patients regardless of insurance status or ability to pay at the following locations: Highway 57 North, Vancleave, (228) 826-4711; Highway 49, Saucier, (228) 832-7223; and Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., Gulfport, (228) 864-0003 (open Monday). Drs. Seicshnaydre, Meekin, Smith and Robinson of Coastal EMT will run clinics 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday through Friday at Drs. Seicshnaydre and Meekin's offices at 4300 15th St., next to Sartin's Drug Store and Memorial Hospital, in Gulfport. Gulf Coast Psychotherapy, Ashley Drive, Ocean Springs, and Howard Avenue, Biloxi, will be open today for patients. Dr. Janus Kulpa will open the Ocean Springs office at 8 a.m. Monday. Details: 875-1599.
Yesterday was quite a busy one at the Sun Herald, the highlight of which was the arrival of our business editor, Lisa Monti, who rode out the storm in Bay St. Louis. We had almost no contact with her over the past week, so it was a relief to see her after so long. I think it's safe to say things are definitely looking up. It's now Saturday here in the newsroom, but it doesn't feel like the weekend. Things are quiet at the moment, and I have some time to devote to the blog, but who knows what will happen in the meantime... --Sara
Friday, September 09, 2005
According to Shirley Henderson with the Catholic Diocese of Biloxi, the following Mass schedule will be held this weekend: Our Lady of the Gulf, Bay St. Louis Mass will be celebrated on the steps of the church at 10 a.m. Sunday, Sept. 11. St. Michael Parish, Biloxi Parishioners are invited to attend Mass at Christ the King Church in Latimer at 5 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 10, and 9 a.m. Sunday, Sept. 11. Sacred Heart Parish, D'Iberville Sunday Masses will be at the Diocesan Pastoral Center, 1790 Popps Ferry Road, at 8:30 and 10 a.m.
The President will be distributing payroll checks for the periods ending Aug. 21 and Sept. 4 at temporary offices at 101-A Rouselle Place in Ocean Springs. The building is west of Applebee's on U.S. 90 and behind the Allstate Insurance Building. Employees who have not already received pay checks may pick them up Sept. 14-16 between the hours of 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. Details: 872-3981.
Don and I are slammed here in the newsroom at the moment and haven't been able to post new information on the blog as often as we'd like. Here's a little something I just received from a Sun Herald staffer: Gulf Coast Medical Center reopened emergency services at 3 p.m. Sept. 6. Inpatient services opened today at noon and are now available to the public. Gulf Coast Medical is located at 180 DeBuys Road in Biloxi. Details: (228) 388-6711.
Helpful information from a story by Sun Herald reporter Josh Norman: DISASTER MORTUARY OPERATIONAL RESPONSE TEAM STATIONS: There are four stations in Harrison County where loved ones of the missing can bring information to help forensics teams searching for remains. --Public Safety Building in Biloxi --Hancock Medical Center --Harrison County Coroner --Marshall Funeral Home DMORT encourages family members only to come forward, especially siblings, parents and children. Please bring as much information as you can think of about the missing person from physical characteristics, to school and medical records, to recent photos. Source: Disaster Mortuary Operational Response Team Or you can call toll free 1-866-326-9393.
Thursday, September 08, 2005
Loyalton of Biloxi Assisted Living Community will be distributing paycheck to its employees Friday at the Horizon Bank located on Pass Road between Walmart and Steinmart. They will be there from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Pfizer is providing medications to Hurricane Katrina survivors (from a press release): Visit a nearby pharmacy to receive an emergency supply of your Pfizer medicines. Victims of Hurricane Katrina who have lost access to their Pfizer medications can receive an emergency supply at any Walgreens, Rite Aid, Wal-Mart, Sam’s Club or CVS pharmacy. From now until September 16th, Pfizer and these pharmacies are helping survivors obtain their Pfizer medicines. No matter where patients may be residing, if they are from the affected areas, they can go to any Walgreens, Rite Aid, Wal-Mart, Sam’s Club or CVS pharmacy and ask the pharmacist for help. Many independent community pharmacies will also be participating. Patients without prescription drug coverage will get their medicines for free. Pfizer and our partners will continue to do all we can to support the efforts of healthcare providers in the area. We are expediting donations of our medicines to relief organizations and local hospitals, and we urge any hurricane victims who do not have their Pfizer medications to contact or visit a pharmacy right away to receive an emergency supply during these difficult days. For more information, please visit a nearby pharmacy.
William Carey College's Hattiesburg campus will reopen to students Monday, Sept. 19 after closing due to Hurricane Katrina. Students may return to the dorms Saturday, Sept. 17 and Sunday Sept. 18. Water and power have been restored to the campus. News of Carey's New Orleans and Gulfport campuses is pending and will be available in the near future. Admissions, Financial Aid and Maintenance staff members should to return to work as soon as possible. All other staff should return Monday, Sept. 12.
NASA Stennis Space Center is open and operating at a modified level of business. Except for previously notified essential personnel, NASA Civil Service employees should not report to duty before Wednesday, Sept. 14. An all-hands meeting for NASA Civil Service employees is scheduled for Wednesday, Sept. 14, at 11 a.m. in the Logtown Conference Room, Building 1100. All employees who are able should attend for valuable information. However, Navy personnel at Stennis and employees of Mississippi Space Services (including Team MSS) should report to work on Monday, Sept. 12. All other contractor and agency employees should check with their specific agency or company for the status of returning to duty. Any employees of NASA, contractors, and resident agencies of the Stennis Space Center and the Michoud Assembly Facility who have not yet checked in are asked to personally call 288-688-3777 or toll-free 877-470-5240 with their status as soon as possible. The lines are staffed 24 hours a day. Employees with internet access should routinely check the NASA Web site for updates and information that will be helpful to personnel and families.
Cellular South zapped out its updates for today: -- The Cellular South wireless network in hardest hit areas will be fully operational by Monday, Sept. 12. -- Customers in unaffected areas should experience normal service. Those in affected areas may experience service quality issues including multiple calling attempts for the next few days. -- Cellular South has been partially operational in the hardest hit areas since August 29, the day Hurricane Katrina made landfall. -- Hundreds of Cellular South employees continue to work around the clock in the field and in permanent and temporary retail locations to help restore service and provide assistance to victims and evacuees. -- Handling more call volume than before Katrina. Network call volume and minutes used are up significantly in the time frame between yesterday, Sept. 6, and Aug. 23, one week prior to Katrina. The data shows that Cellular South is not only handling the volume experienced prior to Katrina, but it’s also handling the additional volume despite not being fully restored as of today. -- Call volume is up 16% (Sept. 6 vs. Aug. 23). -- Minutes of use are up 21% (Sept. 6 vs. Aug. 23). -- More than 7,000 victims and evacuees assisted since Monday at Cellular South phone bank locations. Cellular South has been operating Free Call and Cell Phone Charger Centers for any customer, regardless of their wireless carrier. -- More than 90% of the Cellular South retail locations on the Mississippi Gulf Coast and in the Pine Belt are open. Cellular South stores with damage in Gulfport, Biloxi and Bay St. Louis are operating out of tents. Continuing Emergency Service Assistance -- Cellular South has provided loaner phones to Red Cross Shelters around the state so evacuees who are not Cellular South customers will have access to communication. -- Hundreds of cell phones have been provided to first responders, government agencies and disaster relief teams who are coordinating Mississippi’s disaster relief efforts. For updates, call #STORM from your Cellular South phones, call toll-free 1.888.790.7211 or check the company's Web site.
As of Thursday, Jackson County officials announced that Singing River Electric restored power to 52,000 of 64,000 members. Staff are currently rebuilding power lines in all areas. Members should hire a qualified and licensed electrician to inspect their electrical system, officials suggested.
Anyone with information on the whereabouts of the Kinney family, a group of six, are asked to contact Stephen Parker (brother of Gina Kinney) at 239-573-0758 (home), 239-898-7048 (cell), or 239-277-6200 (work). They were last heard from at 3 a.m. Aug. 29 when they said they would wait out the hurricane in their home on Pointe Aux Chenes Road in Ocean Springs, of the Gulf Park Estates area. They are grandmother Charlotte "Charlie" Kinney, parents Chris and Gina Kinney, 13-year-old Kaitlyn, 9-year-old Trysten and 5-year-old Trevor. UPDATE: I received this e-mail Friday morning: Hi Sara, Gina Kinney and family are OK, they were stuck in thier home w/o any communications for 8 days. Not sure if they have any utilities yet. I spoke w/Gina's brother and everyone is safe. Great news!
As of today, in Harrison County:
Financial contributions from corporations can be made by contacting the Salvation Army's divisional headquarters at (601) 969-7560, ext. 229.
Harrah's has opened its Gulf Coast Region Assistance Center in Gulfport, at 11975 Seaway Road, as a resourse for employees at three properties displaced by Katrina. Available services include: -- On-site primary health care services. -- Compensation and benefits assistance. -- Listings of shelters, local housing and transportation. -- Nationwide job opportunities at other Harrah's properties. -- Access to e-mail and the company's intranet for relief and recovery info. Employees unable to visit the center can also call 877-422-7466. The company anticipates opening a second center in Louisiana soon. Harrah's also says: -- It will make up the difference between military pay and regular pay to employees called up by the National Guard or reserves for relief efforts. -- Two special performances of Tony n' Tina's Wedding at the Rio in Las Vegas will be given with free tickets to those giving contributions of $100 to the Harrah's Employee Recovery Fund or the Red Cross, and 30 percent of proceeds from regularly purchased tickets will be donated likewise. -- 150 hotel rooms at its Bourbon Street hotel in Las Vegas are ready for evacuees and displaced employees. -- Harrah's will pay employees their regularly scheduled base pay for up to 90 days and giving first preference to them for jobs at other properties.
Coast Electric is still on target to energize 80 percent of its members who are able to accept service by the beginning of next week. Phone service has been restored at the Bay St. Louis, Gulfport and Picayune offices and they are accepting calls for general inquiries -- not for reports of outages since they are aware of them -- at (228) 467-6535, (228) 832-1761 or (601) 798-5013. Those offices will open on a limited basis starting next week. At this time, Coast Electric is concentrating all efforts on the restoration process and will not be sending out bills, collecting on due accounts or sending out disconnect notices until they are able to get the business offices up and running.
Saad Home Health, Hospice and Medical Equipment is open. They are in the field seeing patients and delivering medical supplies. They are also looking for displaced patients so they can care for their medical needs. Patients or anyone who knows of a displaced patient are asked to call the Biloxi office at (228) 432-8855 or (800) 279-7223 or the Gautier office at (228) 497-0300.
The Mississippi Health Care Foundation is accepting donations for medical and personal needs for residents of long-term care facilities displaced by Hurricane Katrina. Monetary contributions are tax deductible and can be made to the Mississippi Health Care Foundation, 114 Marketridge Drive, Ridgeland, MS 39157. Please notate contributions for "Disaster Relief." "Many nursing homes have suffered damage, and resources are needed to continue to provide quality care to the residents of the facilities. We encourage the public to help with urgently-needed medical and personal care items. Residents would be grateful for any contribution," said Harold Beebe, president of the Foundation. A special distribution center has been reserved adjacent to theMississippi Health Care Association headquarters at 114 Marketridge Drive in Ridgeland between 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday. For more information please call 601-956-3472, or 1-800-362-6430, or visit the Web site at www.mshca.com. "Displaced long-term care facility residents have been relocated throughout the state, and supplies to help these residents and their caregivers are in great demand," said Vanessa Henderson, MCHA executive director. Supplies needed include: *Baby food/formula (for children of staff, as staff have moved theirfamilies into facilities)*Clothing (for nursing home/personal care residents; staff and theirfamilies, including children)*Paper products (plates, napkins, cups, plastic spoons, forks, knives, etc.) *Insulin syringes and other needles & syringes *Hospital gowns *Admission kits *Glucometers *Water pitchers *Basins *Bedpans *Urinals *Feeding tube bags *Foley bags *Vaseline *Tylenol *Multi-vitamins *Multi-vitamins with iron *Glucerna *Ensure or any othersupplement *Hand sanitizer *Towels/wash cloths *Adult diapers *Under pads *Mattresses *Pillows *Sheets, blankets, pillowcases *Bath soap *Potty chairs *Wheelchairs *Cots *Generators *Baby wipes *Shelf stable food *Toothbrushes *Toothpaste *Deodorant *Shaving crème *Razors *Shampoo *Combs & brushes *Other toiletries *Glycerin swaps *Peroxide *Antiseptic wash *Baby diapers *Baby powder *Foley cath trays:16, 18, 20, 22 or 24 French
From the Mississippi State media relations department: STARKVILLE, Miss. The Mississippi State-Tulane football game will be played Saturday, Sept. 17, at the Independence Bowl Stadium in Shreveport, La., officials from Conference USA and both universities announced Thursday. Kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m. CT and will be televised nationally by College Sports Television (CSTV). The game was originally scheduled for the Louisiana Superdome in New Orleans, a facility made unplayable by the tragic events surrounding Hurricane Katrina last week. Mississippi State fans holding single-game tickets to the Tulane game have three options in this relocation of the game site. 1. MSU athletic officials will be at the Independence Bowl Stadium ticket office at 4:30 p.m. on game day to exchange tickets for the game in the Superdome for a reserved seat in the Shreveport facility. 2. MSU fans may choose to return their already-purchased ticket for the game at the New Orleans facility for a full refund by returning their unused ticket to the MSU Athletic Ticket Office by Monday, Oct. 17. 3. Bulldog fans may forego a refund and have the cost of their ticket donated to the Tulane athletic program. The Mississippi State Athletic Department intends to waive the $200,000 game guarantee to assist the Tulane athletic program in its efforts to overcome the budget shortfall resulting from its relocation. "We fully understand the terrific strain Tulane University has been under in coping with this tragedy," MSU Director of Athletics Larry Templeton said. "We are doing everything we can to assist Tulane in its hurricane recovery efforts." Fans interested in purchasing tickets to the game in Shreveport who do not hold Superdome tickets, should contact Ticket Master, 1-800-488-5252, and indicate they are Mississippi State fans. Tickets may also be purchased at the Independence Bowl Stadium box office. The Bulldog team and travel party will depart from Golden Triangle Regional Airport on game day and return immediately following the game. These travel plans will insure that no one evacuated from the Gulf Coast region to the Shreveport area will be displaced from their hotel rooms.
Scott Marshall, one of our Knight Ridder helpers, gives us this: A snapshot of Bay St. Louis at 10:30 a. m. Central Daylight Savings Time, Sept. 8: The Bay St. Louis side of the destroyed Bay Bridge has become a gathering spot for cellular phone users. Service is nil, if at all, in nearby Waveland. Service at the bridge, or rather, bridge supports, is good. So those standing in the sweltering heat or sitting in their cars using cell phones Thursday morning saw Josh Harris, 25, tooling around on his strikingly blue MGX 21-speed bike, wearing a green boondocks hat, long blue shorts, dusty black boots and listening to Insane Clown Posse through his earphones. Adorning the front of his bike was a fairly large Raggedy Ann doll. "Just to get a smile," Harris confided. He lived a mile down Washington Street with his wife, Michelle McGrath and their daughter Jadie, 3. They rode out Katrina, particularly since downed trees blocked their escape. Their rented home, which sat on three-foot pilings, took in two feet of water. "I'm not going through this again, I lost two cars" said Harris, who allowed that he is headed to Central Texas soon because he has elected to not lose two more cars in every other hurricane that comes along. Although Harris is not coming back, he asked for a favor before riding away: "Can you tell someone we're going to need skeeter spray here? They've all been pushed offshore, but they're coming back."
The Medical Foundation of South Mississippi has the following offices open Monday through Friday, 9 a.m.-4 p.m., no appointment necessary: 1) Norwood Village Medical (Dr. Galbraith/ Dr. Holland) located at 12100 Hwy 49, Gulfport. 2) South Coast Internal Medicine (Dr. LaRosa/ Dr. Maalouf/ Dr. Azar) located at 1110 Broad Ave Gulfport in the Memorial Hospital Medical Office Building. 3) Children’s Clinic (Dr. Reeves/ Dr. Bannister/ Dr. Budd) located at 20091 Pineville Road, Long Beach 4) Southern Coast Family Medicine Clinic (Dr. Dimitriades/ Dr. Schepens) located at 394 Courthouse Road, Gulfport. 5) Internal Medicine Clinic (Dr. Tilley/ Dr. Blanks) located at 1110 Broad Avenue, Gulfport. 6) Long Beach UrgiCare (Dr. Franklin/ Dr. Alexander) located at 5120 Beatline Road, Long Beach. 7) Gulf Coast Pediatrics (Norwood Village location ONLY) located at 12100 Hwy 49, Gulfport (Dr. McCrary/ Dr. Holland/ Dr. Samms/ Dr. Grant/ Dr. Coleman/ Dr. Saleme/ Dr. Schepens/ Dr. Cupp/ Dr. Haller) South Mississippi Nephrology (4300B W. Railroad St., Gulfport) will open Friday, temporary contact numbers (228) 860-3321 and (228) 860-0203. The hours will be from 8:00 a.m. thru 5:00 p.m. Village Square employees please report to Internal Medicine Clinic, Broad Avenue, Gulfport. For more information, please call 867-5292.
The new Treasure Bay hotline number is (228) 896-5879. All crewmembers are encouraged to call this number for updated information. Employees may pick up their paychecks Monday, Sept. 12, and Tuesday, Sept. 13, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the corner of Beauvoir and Pass roads near the Stein Mart parking lot.
All parolees are required to contact the Mississippi Department of Corrections in Jackson, (601) 359-5600.
Dillards will be distributing food and paychecks to Edgewater employees on Friday at 2 p.m. at the front entrance of the store. For more information, please contact Ann Walker at 228-864-8806 In an effort to account for all employees, Ann Walker is requesting a phone call at 228-864-8806 if employees are not able to visit the store on the time/day provided.
Kristin Gardner is an 8th grader at Our Lady Academy in Bay St. Louis. The school was decimated by the storm and she's trying to get back in touch with her schoolmates, teachers and staff with an OLA locator blog. She'd like to hear from her friends. Thanks to her mother, Betsy, for pointing it out to us.
Mississippi Power says it has restored power to nearly 127,000 customers, about 76 percent of those who can receive power. Some interesting numbers from the effort: -- More than 9,200 workers from around the country are assisting. -- More than 5,000 vehicles are being fueled each day. -- The Gulfport Service Center unloaded 60 tractor trailers of material in one 24-hour period. -- 6,000 poles have been delivered and distributed. -- 1,000 miles of wire have been delivered and distributed. The following payment offices are now open: Forest, Heidelberg, Laurel, Meridian, Newton, Quitman, Stonewall, Taylorsville, Union. These offices will open Sept. 12: Columbia, Ellisville, Hattiesburg, Leakesville, Lucedale, Lumberton, Picayune, Poplarville, Purvis, Sumrall, Waynesboro. These offices will not open until further notice: Bay St. Louis, Bay Springs, Biloxi, Gulfport, Moss Point, Ocean Springs, Pascagoula, Pass Christian, Richton and Wiggins. Customers can mail bills to PO Box 245, Birmingham, AL, 35201.
I'm still cleaning out my e-mail inbox, but just got to great news from last night. All Sun Herald employees have been accounted for.
There remain three post offices open only for distributing Social Security checks through Friday, Sept. 16. The checks can be picked up from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. at: -- Escatawpa Post Office, 4100 Rabby St., Escatawpa: Gautier (39553), Pascagoula (39567), Moss Point (39563). -- Biloxi North Bay, 356 Ginger Dr., Biloxi: Biloxi (39530, 39531, 39592). -- Gulfport Larkin Smith Mail Facility, 11110 Hwy. 90, Gulfport: Gulfport (39501, 39503, 39507), Kiln (39556), Pearlington (39572), Lakeshore (39558), Waveland (39576), Pass Christian (39571), Long Beach (39560), Bay St. Louis (39520 and 39525). Customers at Wiggins (39577), Saucier (39574) and Perkinston (39573) can pick up their checks at their local post offices. McHenry (39561) can pick theirs up at Perkinston. Pickup of outgoing mail in the 395 Zip codes will be providd only at the Larkin Smith facility and the Gulfport Processing Plant (10285 Corporate Drive). To make a change of address, you can go online, call 1-800-ASK USPS (1-800-275-8777) or do so at any post office, station or branch. Mississippi district manager James A. Daily said 60,000 had been received nationally. Postal employees should confirm their locations if they haven't done so already by calling (877) 477-3273.
Good morning, all. This comes from my cousin, Richard Lewis, who is the national PR manager for the Virginia Tourism Corporation. Katrina's diaspora has affected areas all over the place, and this is his story (and he's too good a guy to be pitching PR talking points in this situation, trust me): I wanted to pass along some news from Virginia that has to do with Katrina evacuees. By the middle of last week we were hearing that some of Virginia’s Welcome Centers were starting to see evacuees and refugees from the Gulf South. By the weekend the numbers were increasing steadily and the staff of our Welcome Center in Bristol became nearly overwhelmed. The local Red Cross unit was mobilized and they set up a command center at the Welcome Center where throughout the weekend they provided food, supplies, gas vouchers, etc. to those who needed them. They also sent people to the Red Cross shelter for a place to sleep and showers. The vending machines were no match for the demand and so the staff of the Welcome Center, prior to the arrival of the Red Cross, were buying snacks and water with their own money and handing it out to those who needed it. We heard of people coming in in states of shock, some breaking down emotionally, some in states of rage. The Red Cross had among their volunteers a licensed psychologist who did plenty of work. A few of us from the Richmond office went down there on Saturday to provide some relief to our Welcome Center staff. I worked there until midnight on Saturday and was able to chat with a number of folks from the Coast. Most all of these people are driving into or through Virginia heading to the homes of friends and relatives. One woman from Pascagoula (but a California native) seemed particularly affected by her experience, saying that California earthquakes were nothing compared to the hurricane. A woman from New Orleans (who works for the Saints) told me that in driving from New Orleans the first place she saw this kind of assistance was in Virginia. Virginia’s governor, Mark R. Warner, has been very active in mobilizing aid for the Gulf Coast and New Orleans. I had the chance yesterday to speak with him privately and to tell him that I am from the Gulf Coast and appreciated all that he is doing.
Wednesday, September 07, 2005
Leaving you tonight with a few excerpts from a story by visiting reporter Meera Pal, who looked into conditions south of the railroad (which by the way is where I'm headed now, as my bizarrely untouched apartment beckons):Eugene and Debby Roe returned to their S. Railroad Avenue home last weekend and found that except for a few downed fruit trees and a destroyed backyard patio, their home was fine. (Eugene Roe) has heard rumors that the city plans to bulldoze the entire area, or install a razor wire fence and limit access to residents. Col. Joe Spraggins, director of Harrison County Civil Defense, said city officials have not decided what to do with the damaged area. "No one is going to go in and tear someone's house down without a lot of notification," Spraggins said. "They are trying to find a way to save everything they can save. We are not just going to demolish everything." He is discouraging residents from returning to the area for their own safety, noting possible gas leaks, potential injury from debris, and hazardous materials buried among the wreckage. ...Eugene Roe managed to get power restored to his and a few other residents' homes... One of those homes belongs to 76-year-old Rosie Parkerson and her son, Ron. ...Ron Parkerson spoke about his return to S. Railroad Avenue after the hurricane. A normally eight-minute drive took close to an hour, he said. Before Katrina hit, Ron Parkerson evacuated his mother to his two-story house, four miles north. Unfortunately, his house didn't fare as well as his mother's. Several large trees came down on the 100-year-old home. The pair returned to her house a day after Katrina and have been living there since... More in tomorrow's print edition and posted on the Sun Herald web site soon. Good night, all, and take care of each other.
Hot off the fax machine: Winn-Dixie is offering assistance to those affected by Hurricane Katrina by offering free ice at eight of its stores in the storm damaged areas. A tractor-trailer truck full of ice will be conveniently positioned in the parking lot of designated stores, where each person can receive one bag of ice for free while supplies last. Locations: 2800 Lincoln Road, Hattiesburg 771 U.S. 98, Columbia 2384 Pass Road, Biloxi 10511 D'Iberville Blvd., D'Iberville 851 Brownswitch Road, Slidell, La. 400 Georgia Ave., Bogalusa, La. 2985 Gause Blvd., Slidell, La. 12519 Airline Highway, Destrehan, La. Winn-Dixie is implementing its "Neighbors Helping Neighbors" program in all of its stores as a way to assist the American Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund to benefit storm victims. When a Winn-Dixie customer is checking out at the register, he or she may donat directly to the American Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund by telling the cashier how much they want to add to their total bill. Emphasis mine...thought it was an easy way for someone lightyears away to make a difference in our backyard.
Sun Herald photographer John Fitzhugh, who is very involved with Relay for Life and the American Cancer Society, passed us along this helpful information. The American College of Clinical Oncology has set up this site full of useful information for cancer patients affected by Hurricane Katrina, including a list of doctors available to care for acute patients.
You have had several updates on Mississippi Power how about Coast electric and how quickly they are getting power back. Thanks Paula I found a rogue press release on a faraway desk in the newsroom. It hadn't made it to the "blog station" yet. My apologies. As of today (Sept. 7), Coast Electric reports that it is on target to energize 80 percent of its members who are able to accept service by the beginning of next week (Sept. 12 or so). All transmission lines have been restored and they are now completing work on the three-phase lines, which will allow them to work on single-phase lines and get ore members connected. If phone services are working properly, they will start taking calls at the Gulfport (832-1761) and Picayune (601-798-5013) offices beginning tomorrow (Sept. 8). The Gulfport, Picayune and Bay St. Louis business offices will be open on a limited basis starting next week. They are currently assessing damages in the Biloxi office to determine when they will be able to use it.
Mississippi District Manager James A. Daily issued this statement this afternoon after learning that some customers are visiting post offices and complaining that they are not receiving all of their mail: "We have three designated sited to enable customers to receive Social Security checks only. We are not yet prepared to disseminate any other mail from these locations at this time. We are working diligently to get equipment in place to offer more services very soon, but we are only offering Social Security checks to customers so that they may take care of some of their most critical needs right now."
For anyone set on returning to the coast, here is the latest on road conditions via MDOT. I-10 Eastbound traffic will be crossed over to one lane of I-10 Westbound for several miles in Jackson County. This traffic change will be in effect for at least 5 weeks as crews work to repair bridge over Pascagoula River. Motorists should take alternate routes to avoid traffic congestion. MDOT has cleared all state highways for travel except Hwy 90; however, the Highway Patrol discourages non-emergency travel in the Gulf Coast region. Amen.
Received this by e-mail earlier today: All Hancock Medical Center department managers and maintenance and housekeeping staff members should report to work as soon as possible. Paychecks will be electronically deposited for those with direct deposit. All others may be picked up Friday at the U.S. 90 branch of Hancock Bank. The hospital will be under limited operations for cleaning and repair for at least two weeks. Medical care for the community is being provided on-site by federal and state emergency personnel.
University of Southern Mississippi Gulf Coast employees who do not have direct deposit will be able to pick up their most recent paycheck on the coast this Friday. Paychecks will be distributed at the Old Garden Park Hospital, located at 15200 Community Road in Gulfport, from noon until 3 p.m. Student refund checks will also be available for pick up, but only for students with a 395-- zip code. All employees and students must present valid, personal identification.
We're wading through all the e-mails and hoping not to duplicate stuff, but this might be a repeat: Two urgent medical needs facilities have opened in Harrison County: 1. Coast Episcopal School 22037 Episcopal Road Pass Christian will have a mobile unit at this location today and will be on site tomorrow. Hours will be from 7am to 6pm. For more information contact Jennifer Knight at (228)332-0330 or (228) 860-7252. 2. Quarles Elementary on Commission Road is currently operational. Hours are from 9am to 5pm.
Zdmo2 e-mails: Can you please post info on the water supply in Biloxi. I can't find anything and want to know if it's at least safe to bathe in. The city's site has nothing and I can't find any updates on SunHerald or WLOX. Thanks According to Sun Herald environmental reporter Mike Keller, 550 water systems in Mississippi alone have been affected by Katrina. In 404, there are boil water orders, and that includes everything on the Coast. If you have a personal well where you lost power and there was flooding, don't turn on or use your pump until it's been professionally disinfected.
From a series of e-mails from the folks at the Seabee base, we have a sense of what tasks they're taking on: -- Navy personnel from the Seabee base in Gulfport are repairing five schools in Gulfport and Biloxi. -- They are being joined by Marines to support efforts in New Orleans. -- NMCB 40 is building a 500-person tent city to house victims. -- Underwater Construction Team 1 from Norfolk will survey the Gulfport Small Craft Harbor today or Thursday. The Navy Divers will inspect the harbor and pier, checking the piles with sonar. They'll also map the harbor's hydrography to see if there are any hazards to shipping.
Scott Denton is working with Atlanta-based Katrina Data Project to consolidate information at the numerous sites collecting missing persons information around the Internet. He e-mails: Please check out this site, as (in my opinion) this is the best source of information to displaced evacuees. It serves as a central repository for the most forward-thinking data that can (and should) be collected. The data collected is organized in a manner that is much more useful to evacuees and/or their families. Currently, they/we have collected more information than the American Red Cross. We are working diligently to obtain even more useful information. Thank you for your time. God bless you and all those affected by this horrible storm.
Scott M. sends the following vignette: Katrina was a great divider of families and friends, including their pets. Now, missing-pet fliers have begun appearing. One of the first was for Bailey, a 2-year-old chocolate labrador escaped her kennel and then from the Keesler Air Force Base shelter on Aug. 31. Her picture, lying on a blue rug, adorns fliers posted along Pass Road, on the base and on Jordan Drive. Bailey's human, a Keesler employee, said no one has yet called to report finding her. If you do, call 813-323-3217.
Secretary of State Eric Clark's office has received multiple reports of individuals using fake Hurricane Katrina donation and relief Web sites. These sites are being used to create false donation foundations to gain money or capture user names and passwords. They can lead you to install spyware or trojan software on your machine, which can be used to steal personal information to gain access to your credit card number or bank account. Several Web sites/domains in question include katrinahelp.com, katrinarelief.com and katrinacleanup.com, according to the Federal Trade Commission. To report a suspected charities scam in Mississippi, call the Secretary of State's office at 1-888-236-6167 or (601) 359-1371. It never fails, does it? Be sure to stay away from those sites listed above and stick to familiar charities.
The Medical Foundation of South Mississippi has these offices open from 9 a.m.-4 p.m., no appointment necessary: -- Norwood Village Medical (Dr. Galbraith/ Dr. Holland) located at 12100 Hwy 49, Gulfport. -- South Coast Internal Medicine (Dr. LaRosa/ Dr. Maalouf/ Dr. Azar) located at 1110 Broad Ave Gulfport in the Memorial Hospital Medical Office Building. -- Children's Clinic (Dr. Reeves/ Dr. Bannister/ Dr. Budd) located at 20091 Pineville Road, Long Beach -- Southern Coast Family Medicine Clinic (Dr. Dimitriades/ Dr. Schepens) located at 394 Courthouse Road, Gulfport. -- Internal Medicine Clinic (Dr. Tilley/ Dr. Blanks) located at 1110 Broad Avenue, Gulfport. -- Long Beach UrgiCare (Dr. Franklin/ Dr. Alexander) located at 5120 Beatline Road, Long Beach. -- Gulf Coast Pediatrics (Norwood Village location ONLY) located at 12100 Hwy 49, Gulfport (Dr. McCrary/ Dr. Holland/ Dr. Samms/ Dr. Grant/ Dr. Coleman/ Dr. Saleme/ Dr. Schepens/ Dr. Cupp/ Dr. Haller) Village Square employees please report to Internal Medicine Clinic, Broad Avenue, Gulfport. For more information, please call 867-5292.
From a press release: BellSouth is completing our sweeps to determine the extent of damage suffered from Hurricane Katrina. BellSouth is working to re-establish and re-route communications capabilities according to its customer's needs. The company continues to focus its restoration in support of public safety concerns, wireless services and relief activities. The company's overall restoration activities are ongoing and good progress is being made daily. BellSouth is bringing in additional personnel to supplement its Mississippi network work force. The company continues to coordinate with other utilities to ensure the restoration effort for all customers is made as soon as possible.
It's obviously too early to figure out exactly what this will mean across the victim spectrum, but the US government is going to be giving $2,000 debit cards to victims.
Lisa Krieger, who is helping us from the Knight Ridder news chain, sent this information in from the Harrison County Emergency Management Agency briefing: Where to pick up your Social Security Check Social Security check recipients can call the U.S. Postal Service at 1-800-275-8777 to find which of three Harrison County locations they pick up their check. Recipients need to provide their zip code when they call and they will be directed to their check pick up site. Change of address Residents can file change of address forms with the U.S. Postal service by phone at 1-800-275-8777. If you have access to the Internet visit www.usps.com. Rumor Control Hotline The telephone number for the Rumor Control Hotline has been changed to 228-865-4070. Interim roof repair Operation Blue Roof, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers contractors, is offering temporary roof repair to residents. To sign up call 228-701-0588 or sign up in person at the Justice Court Building in Gulfport. Gulfport Biloxi International Airport Some carriers will begin limited air travel service from Gulfport Biloxi International Airport. Northwest will carry one flight a day beginning on Sept. 8. Delta will begin service on Sept. 11. AirTran will carry one flight a day beginning Sept. 13. Continental Airlines will begin service on Sept. 19. American Airlines will begin service on Dec. 16. Call the airlines for more specific route information. Bus service Coast Transit Authority has 15 buses that are operational and traveling all routes.
Corrina Pearse called in from Spectrum Aquatics in Missoula, Mont., to let folks know about a job offering up there. They do commercial pool manufacturing and are looking for a engineer/draftsperson. You can call (800) 776-5390. You can also post similar items at our online classifieds site.
Wee Ones Child Care Center, 1023 East Pass Road, just west of Cowan-Lorraine Road (897-1637), will open for children of any age on Monday, Sept. 12. Hours will be 6:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. The Wee Ones Child Care Center on Three Rivers Road (832-7272) also expects to open Monday, Sept. 12.
Northwood Christian Center, 14281 O'Neal Road, Gulfport, now has electricity and will have service at 11 a.m. Sunday. Come as you are. A service will also be at 9 a.m. Sunday at Wiggins Christian Center. Details: 832-5100.
Folks at the Orange Grove Church of Christ on Highway 49 next to Hardees have a lot of food, water and clothing available. Anybody who needs such items, or wants to volunteer are welcome.
Beginning today, I-10 in Jackson County will be restricted to two lanes between Highway 57 and Highway 613 while bridge repairs are conducted on the eastbound lane. This constriction will take place for at least five weeks, according to the Mississippi Department of Transportation.
NOAA continues to give outstanding satellite imagery of the region affected by Katrina. Check out for areas where imagery is available. You can check out Fort Massachusetts on Ship Island and other sites of interest. A note: It's amazing that with all the detail in the photos how difficult it can be to find what you're looking for. It took me a couple attempts with finger on laptop screen tracing the streets in my neighborhood trying to find my home to be successful. Roads and streets get covered up and you just lose your way.
Mississippi Power has also opened bill payment offices in: Forest, Heidelberg, Laurel, Meridian, Newton, Quitman, Stonewall, Taylorsville and Union. These bill payment offices will open Monday: Columbia, Ellisville, Hattiesburg, Leakesville, Lucedale, Lumberton, Picayune, Poplarville, Purvis, Sumrall and Waynesboro. The company isn't sure when they'll be able to reopen offices in Bay St. Louis, Bay Springs, Biloxi, Gulfport, Moss Point, Ocean Springs, Pascagoula, Pass Christian, Richton and Wiggins. Customers can mail bills to PO Box 245, Birmingham, AL, 35201.
Mississippi Power says it has restored electricity to 65 percent (nearly 110,000) of its customers that can receive power. More than 9,200 workers from around the country are helping the effort. Estimates for restoring service to customers include: Sept. 7: Leakesville, Lucedale, Richton Sept. 8: Bay St. Louis, Long Beach, Wiggins, Saucier Sept. 9: Pascagoula, Moss Point, Pass Christian, DeLisle Sept. 10: Hattiesburg, Laurel Sept. 11: Biloxi, Gulfport, Picayune, Poplarville "We're asking that customers in areas that have been restored contact us if they still have problems," spokesperson Kurt Brautigam said in a release. "Because the damage was so widespread and severe, there will be a number of individual customer problems that can be corrected as soon as they're identified." Customers can report outages at 800-ITS-DARK (800-487-3275).
According to a report from the field, the Wal-Mart in Waveland will fill prescriptions for free from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. as long as they can. They're set up in front of the store on Highway 90.
Cassidy Lance is looking for James Lance who lives on Southwind Drive. Call 972-625-1653.
Tuesday, September 06, 2005
I'm shutting down for the night. I've made a date with a real shower, making me a very fortunate man here on the Coast. I'm going to reintroduce my body to the concept of cleanliness for at least one night. I wish I could do the same for everybody out there who needs one. I'll be back to dirty by the end of the night tomorrow, joining the unwashed masses trying to dig our way out. This recovery is all about small victories, so cherish them.
SouthTrust Bank will have informational meetings for employees affected by Katrina starting Wednesday. Employees can call (800) 473-7254 for more information. Here is the schedule: Wednesday 8:00 am Pascagoula Office 8:00 am Ocean Springs Office 5:00 pm Pascagoula Office 5:00 pm Ocean Springs Office Thursday 8:00 am Biloxi - Main Office 8:00 am Biloxi - Edgewater Office *8:00 am Hattiesburg - Hardy Street Office 5:00 pm Biloxi - Edgewater Office 5:00 pm Gulfport - Courthouse Road Office (*Additional Hattiesburg meeting TBD) Friday 8:00 am Gulfport - Courthouse Road Office
The Harrison County Emergency Managment Agency has set up a rumor control hotline in an effort to propagate factual information. Officials want folks to call 865-4070 to have their questions answered 24 hours a day.
We encourage everyone to continue to use the message boards for you search for loved ones. When we get them physically in our hands, however, we'll post them here, like this one. Suzanne Westman is looking for William Stanley Wilkinson, who lived at 9031 River Oaks Court in Biloxi. Call (916) 359-1651 or (916) 919-5602.
New Orleans Saints owner Tom Benson put out this statement this afternoon: The entire New Orleans Saints organization would like to extend its prayers and best wishes to all of our fans throughout Louisiana and the Gulf South region. We are currently working with the NFL and expect to be in a position shortly to announce the sites for our remaining 2005 home schedule. I have expressed my desire to the NFL to play games in Baton Rouge, to the extent circumstances allow. Saints ticket holders unable to attend home games, wherever played, should also be assured that they will be permitted to request refunds. Specifics of the refund policy will be publicized in the upcoming days. The New Orleans Saints look forward to the start of the NFL regular season this Sunday and to having the Club be a source of pride and joy in these difficult days. As we move forward together, the Saints look forward to serving as a leader in the rebuilding and revitalization of our great community. Towards this effort, the Saints have established the "New Orleans Saints Hurricane Katrina Relief Fund." Further information for those individuals/companies interested in contributing will be announced shortly.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is now located in the Harrison County Justice Court building which is located at 1620 23rd Ave. Gulfport. The telephone number is (228) 701-0588. The Corps currently has a program available to assist in covering damaged roofs. The Blue Roof program is up and running. Operation Blue Roof is a program designed to provide temporary protection for roofs damaged during a hurricane. It consists of a plastic tarp, which is usually blue in color that is installed onto homes by companies contracted by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. The Army Corps of Engineers must acquire from homeowners permission to enter their residence. This will be accomplished through the completion of a Right of Entry form "ROE." Effective immediately, Harrison County EOC and Army Corps of Engineer employees will begin handing out these forms. They can also be obtained at the Harrison County Justice Court located at 1620 23rd Avenue. They can be contacted by dialing 228-701-0588. Once a completed form is received, your home will be assigned to a Quality Assurance inspector and a contractor. Please note that it can take up to a month, or even longer, for you to have your blue roof installed.
MEMA has established the Multi-Agency Staging Center to receive large donations of goods. It will be open around the clock to receive only large donations. It has loading docks and is staffed to receive tractor-trailer trucks. The facility is located at 840 Boling Street, Jackson, Miss., 39202. For more information or directions, call (601) 969-615 or (866) 230-8903. Call the hotline to schedule arrival times and to confirm items to be donated. For small donations of food, clothing, money or other goods and services, please contact local shelters.
We've still got three employees we're still trying to contact. All three live in Gulfport. If you have seen or heard from Yashika Clark, Alma Magee or Stephon Smith, please call 228-896-2432 or 228-860-6524.
Employees of Loyalton of Biloxi are to contact Emeritus Assisted Living for important information regarding their paychecks.
Staples in Pascagoula will distribute water at their Denny Street store Wednesday starting at 1 p.m. They have an 18-wheeler full of 5-gallon bottle to be handed out one per person until empty. Staples 3253 Denny Avenue Pascagoula
By TRACY DASH SUN HERALD Environmental crews, along with Gulfport fire and police officials recovered a chlorine cylinder Tuesday morning that was damaged but not leaking near the intersection of 37th Avenue and 11th Street in Gulfport. According to the state Department of Environmental Quality, Seabees were cleaning the area and found the cylinder. The area was sealed off during the recovery as a precautionary measure, but no one was injured. It was unclear what size cylinder was located. DEQ is working with several agencies including the U.S. Coast Guard to locate tanks of hazardous materials that washed ashore or were damaged by Hurricane Katrina. "We're going street by street, block by block, from state line to state line looking for (tanks of hazardous materials)," said DEQ first responder Earl Etheridge. Crews have found materials such as diesel, gasoline, motor oil, chlorine, liquid oxygen, medical waste and corrosives. Etheridge said they are marking the containers with orange paint to indicate whether they are full or empty. The Environmental Protection Agency has crews that will pick up the materials and dispose of them outside Mississippi. Anyone who finds a hazardous material container is asked to contact the local fire department. Don't touch the container, Etheridge said. He said people should let the fire department know whether the container is leaking.
From Saucier: Saucier Utilities would like to announce to all members that you are not required to boil your water. We were able to retain power through the storm and the water is safe to drink.
Long Beach fire chief George Bass has released this statement: We are here to protect and limit access to the area south of the CSX Railroad tracks. We are attempting to keep anyone who does not belong in the area from entering your personal property. We are not going to bull doze your homes; they belong to you, and you will deal with your insurance company to settle your property. We have not set a date for anyone to have to vacate from south of the CSX Railroad tracks. If this becomes necessary, we will try to give you enough lead time to secure your property, and we strongly encourage you to use your time to prepare for this possibility. To reduce your risk of illness, infection, or injury, we recommend that you use extreme caution while in this area and that you use any means to protect yourself from the hazards that exist south of the CSX Railroad tracks. Some of these hazards include; natural gas leaks, stagnant water, raw sewage, dead animals, and other unknown hazards. We want to remind you that curfew south of the CSX Railroad tracks is 24 hours a day, but we are allowing passes from 8:00 to 5:00 p.m. All passes must be returned to the checkpoint at Choice Food Store by the 5:30 p.m. dead line. This pass is to allow you to access your property only. Heavy equipment is operating in the area to clear debris from the streets to allow emergency vehicle passage, and all vehicular and pedestrian traffic must be restricted to your property only. When they become available, passes will be issued to residents remaining overnight south of the CSX Railroad tracks whose homes have been declared structurally safe by city building officials. We will record the names and addresses of those residents in order to allow emergency responders to locate them if necessary.
Branch Openings SouthTrust bank will open the following branches on Tuesday, Sept. 6 from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m.: Mississippi Gulf Coast -- Pascagoula, Biloxi Main, Ocean Springs, Vancleave, Edgewater, Courthouse Road Hattiesburg -- Turtle Creek and Hardy Street In addition, offices in Jackson and Southaven, Miss. are open during regular business hours Branch Closings The following SouthTrust Bank offices remain closed until further notice as a result of Hurricane Katrina: -- Mobile Main – Mobile, Ala. -- Gulfport Main – Gulfport, Miss. All other financial centers opened at the usual time. ATM Fees Waived SouthTrust Bank is temporarily waiving fees for non-customers at its ATMs in Escambia, Mobile, Baldwin and surrounding counties in Alabama, San Antonio and Houston, Texas and as well as locations throughout Mississippi. Wachovia Bank is temporarily waiving fees for non-customers at its ATMs in the Florida Panhandle, including Escambia, Santa Rosa, Okaloosa, Walton, Holmes, Washington, Bay and surrounding counties. Special Installment Loans Available SouthTrust/Wachovia is offering special installment loans to those needing assistance because of Hurricane Katrina. The loans, available for the next 45 days, have a fixed annual percentage rate of 9.99 percent and no origination fee. To apply or to receive more information, call 1-866-421-2779. Customers may call 1-800-WACHOVIA or 1-800-CALL-STB for additional information.
Mississippi Gulf Coast Blossman YMCA at 1810 Government Street, Ocean Springs is open and is making services available for both members and non-members. The shower facility is open 24/7. Soap is available but bring a towel if possible. The pool will also be open for lap swim from 7 a.m.-5 p.m. and family swim from noon-5 p.m. The YMCA Youth Activities Center at 2550 Bienville Blvd., Ocean Springs is open 24/7 for children 5-12. Details: 872-0322. The YMCA Preschool at 1904 Government Street, Ocean Springs received minor damage and should reopen in a week or two. Details: 875-0152 or 875-0157. All YMCA employees should contact their supervisor as soon as possible. Paychecks for Sept. 2 are available at the Member Services desk. No paychecks were direct-deposited. Donated clothing is available in the AOP Building on Government Street. Details: 875-5050.
The Navy employees (civilian, military and contractor personnel) at Stennis Space Center have checked in in droves over the last day. There are still 246 of the 1,700 unaccounted for, but that's down from 650 yesterday. All employees from CNMOC, NAVO and NRL are encouraged to call in, even if you can't come in to work. They're just trying to locate everyone now. Rear Admiral Timothy McGee has granted administrative leave thru Friday. Call 228-688-5200, 228-688-3777 or 831-656-4327 to check in.
Mississippi Power thinks that all its customers who can receive power will have it restored by the end of the day Sunday, less than two weeks after Katrina stormed through here. The company says it's restored power to 54 percent of its customers. Here are the company's timelines for when it thinks power will be restored: Sept. 6: Ocean Springs Sept. 7: Leakesville, Lucedale, Meridian, Richton Sept. 8: Bay St. Louis, Long Beach, Wiggins/Saucier Sept. 9: Pascagoula, Moss Point, Pass Christian, DeLisle Sept. 10: Hattiesburg, Laurel Sept. 11: Biloxi, Gulfport, Picayune, Poplarville If customers don't receive power on that schedule, try to call (800) ITS-DARK (800-487-3275).
I've got no worries anymore: OFFICIAL WINNING NOTIFICATION AND HOW YOU BECAME A WINNER. (IDAHO LOTTERY INTERNATIONAL) Prize Remittance Division Batch no: ID/7704/07/###. Ref no: ######LP. Serial no: DF#####DE. Ticket no:#######. Lucky no:###-###-###-###-###. This email confirms that you have received from the IDAHO LOTTERY INTERNATIONAL an official notification of your lotto winning in the IDAHO LOTTO AUTOMATIC SUBSCRIPTION TICKET GAME (I.A.S.T) which took place on Septmeber 6th , 2005 at our lottery office complex in Amsterdam Netherlands. You have won an IDAHO LOTTO PRIZE OF €500.000.00 Five Hundred Thousand euro only, a prize payout of your winning has been approved by the IDAHOLOTTO GROUP. In accordance with the Europe Million lottery ordinance, you are authorized as the lotto prize winner to request claims of your winning prize. I'm not sure why the Idaho Lottery pays Euros, but I'm sure I can find a Waffle House around here that will take them!
Andrew Kay e-mails: My father-in-law from Gulfport is now safe with us in Virginia, but his wife remains there working shifts a Memorial Hospital. One tip that might be useful for families that have managed to get out of the area is to contact your credit card companies to ensure they know you are a victim of Katrina. I called Visa last night for my father-in-law and they added "hurricane victim" to his file. Based on the home zip code, they told me that all finance charges were stopped and no bills etc. would be sent out. Any purchases made using the card would incur no interest charges for a 30 day period. At the end of the 30 days, they update the files based on information from FEMA (presumably the notificatin that the zip code is still in the disaster area. Hope this helps. Good tip.
State and federal officials are going to open two disaster recovery centers in Ocean Springs at noon today and in Pascagoula at noon Friday. Tuesday, that center is at 3164 Bienville Blvd., the old Kmart building in Ocean Springs. On Friday in Pascagoula at Pascagoula High School at 1716 Tucker Ave. Each will be open 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. seven days a week until further notice. People with loss or damage can go to disaster recovery centers to follow up on registrations. Register first by calling 1-800-621-FEMA (3362) If you have questions, go to the center and talk to them. Available at the center will be loan officers, U.S. Small Business Administration personnel, and representatives of various state, federal and volunteer agencies.
Lou Finkle e-mails:
We lost house, furnishings, clothes, etc... We now live in a motorhome in shopping center parking lots. We are unable to reach cable, water, electric companies to inform them to cancel our services. They do not provide means to cancel services via Internet and 5 days of calling leads us nowhere. How can we get these utilities canceled?I'll look into this, but I imagine all those providers will be able to look at many addresses and be able to tell that there's nothing to bill folks for after Sept. 28/29. We're lucky to have e-mail access here and I've already gotten one note from a company telling me they'd suspended my account and even credited me for the previous month. I'm sure it was a mass e-mailing based on Zip code, but it was a welcome site.
After taking a couple days off, I'm back to give Sara Greer some time off. Give me a bit to get back in the groove, and we'll see what we can do. Remember to use the message boards to check on relatives, damage, housing opportunities. I even see we've added a missing/lost items section. Our main site has lots of photos and links to helpful sites.
-- Don Hammack
Monday, September 05, 2005
Things are slowing down here in the newsroom and I think it's time I got some sleep. Either Don or I will be back tomorrow morning with the latest....g'night.
From Sun Herald reporter Ryan LaFontaine: Help is coming to Hancock County. More than nine million pounds of ice, nearly two million gallons of water and 10 truck loads of ready-to-eat meals have been sent to Hancock County. County officials believe some schools could be ready to open by the end of October, and what's more, Johnston said some parts of the county are less than a week from receiving power.
A short vignette from Sun Herald feature writer Pam Firmin: POWER PULL The crew of Canadians who restored power for Gilda and Joseph Davis of Franks Street in Tanglewood, Biloxi, are nothing short of angels, Joseph said Sunday. As volunteers from Montreal, Canada, and part of Mississippi Power's component from Georgia Power, they are believed to have come the furtherer distance to help out. In order to replace the Davis' broken power pole, the crew had to move Joseph's 1979 Cadillac that was blocking the way. He told them to do what they had to. The Canadians attached the car to the hook used for lifting poles and "they lifted it straight up gently, like it was a toothpick," Gilda said, and she praised them for being careful not to break even one branch on the magnolia tree that was in the line of fire. Four houses in that neighborhood got power back when their pole was replaced. "They were God-sent," Joseph said.
The company, which has eight offices in 13 counties, wants its employees to report to their offices Tuesday. They have accounted for all but two of their 300 employees. Patients should continue to try to contact their offices, too.
We've gotten so many requests for very localized information, and besides the message board and Sun Herald web site, which has photos, detailed accounts and helpful information, you can also try this NOAA site, which has aerial photos of the entire area affected by Hurricane Katrina.
Trinity United Methodist Church, 861-2717, is serving hot meals from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. daily at the church, located at 5007 Lawson Road in Gulfport. They're also giving out food and hygiene items.
Kevin Titus with the American Red Cross passed along some information about the organization's progress and functioning shelters. More than 5,000 volunteers and staff are joining thousands of local volunteers already on the ground. The Red Cross is unable to accept small, individual donations or collections of items such as clothing, food or cleaning supplies. The cost to sort, package and distribute these types of donations to disaster victims is costly and it is logistically impossible to distribute in a meaningful way. (I will interject here to remind you that local churches and food banks are great places to unload these individual objects, as they can distribute them a little more easily...at least when they have enough volunteers. Back to the Red Cross...) Local shelters still operating:
Of the 1,700 Navy employees at Stennis Space Center, 650 are still unaccounted for. All civilian, military and contractor personnel from CNMOC, NAVO and NRL who have not called in, please do so now: (228) 688-5200, (228) 688-3777 or (831) 656-4327. Rear Admiral Timothy McGee has granted administrative leave through Friday, Sept. 9. All employees who are able to report to work are asked to please do so. Also, if employees show their badge, they will be able to get gas there. Support programs are also set up to assist employees and their families.
Bob Burke, a member of the Biloxi High School class of 1965, told us they celebrated their 40th anniversary exactly one month "BK (Before Katrina)." We were reconnected with the many classmates still on the Gulf Coast in or near Biloxi. BHS65 is a community of several hundred people, with 200 of our group living in areas affected by Katrina. We are actively seeking information about the well being and/or needs of our BHS65 classmates post-Katrina. Bob asks that anyone with information on any member, either themselves or their friends or families, can contact them at firstname.lastname@example.org to let them know you're OK.
All employees of Moore Community House should ontact Darcy at 1-800-586-3696 or at email@example.com to let them know you are okay and so that they may pass along important information to you.
Kurt Brautigam just stopped by again with good electrical tidings: Because of the success of the restoration effort to date, Mississippi Power President and CEO Anthony Topazi set a goal to restore power to all of its customers who can safely receive electric service by Sunday, Sept. 11 -- 13 days after Hurricane Katrina made landfall. By Tuesday there will be 9,200 line crews and support personnel coming from across the nation. Topazi noted that it will take several months to rebuild the company's electric system back to its normal state and that several customers may experience service interruptions as problems crop up with damaged and contaminated equipment. A word to you people in the streets: Power company trucks have right of way.
Michael Bouldin of NYC, who has family here, let us know a little about Heron Bayou in Ocean Springs: Their neighborhood, Heron Bayou in Ocean Springs, survived the storm with comparatively little damage, and everyone who stayed behind seems to be OK. My dad reports that the flood made it exactly to their doorstep before receding – imagine that. The entire neighborhood is helping one another out with supplies, food and water, of which they have plenty, so he says. They are definitely counting their blessings in Heron Bayou tonight, it appears.
Col. Joe Spraggins updated the media earlier today with these tidbits:
A.G. Edwards clients can call (800) 476-5577 for information on their investments affected by Hurricane Katrina.
All branches of Merchants & Marines Bank are open except for the main branch in Pascagoula. Medical Analysis Pharmacy is open at 250 Beauvoir Road in Biloxi from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday through Friday. They also have a team of doctors and nurses available.
I have this on very good authority, from a press release sent in by Alan Feldman, senior vice president of public affairs for MGM Mirage, in hopes of clearing up any confusion from any previous information published regarding payroll for employees: Under the direction of Bobby Baldwin, we have established an internal response team to develop programs to reach out to Beau Rivage employees in this time of extraordinary need. Within 48 hours of the Hurricane they have:
· Established a call center in Las Vegas to communicate with Beau Rivage employees and customers to answer their questions with the latest available information;
· Made arrangements to waive restrictions on medical and prescription drug coverage so employees and their family members can access needed services wherever they are;
· Begun working with employees individually to provide coordination to help them locate immediate medical services.
All Beau Rivage employees remain employed and have on-going benefits. After checking with local officials, the earliest officials can go to Beau Rivage is next Tuesday. We will travel with a team of senior managers and construction experts to see first-hand the damage and initiate distribution of regular payroll checks. For those employees who evacuated the area and are able to contact us before next Tuesday morning, we can FedEx their payroll check directly to them wherever they are.
Because the immediate area is completely destroyed, we have made arrangements with Wachovia Bank branches in the surrounding region to make certain that Beau Rivage payroll checks will be honored. Beginning 4 p.m. Tuesday, payroll checks will be available at a distribution center being established at Beau Rivage. Employees unable to access the property can call the call center at 866-368-7399 so we can make arrangements to get payroll checks to them.
Of great significance, if you have been in touch with any Beau Rivage employees or family members and have not already notified us, please immediately contact our call center at 866-368-7399 to let the operators update the database. We are trying to link together employees and their families and colleagues. To that end, we are maintaining current contact information and transferring calls between people in order to facilitate contact.
Recognizing the enormous long-term need for support, MGM MIRAGE intends to play a leading role in the re-building of Biloxi just as we have been a significant part of Biloxi’s success. We are formulating the best response to this extraordinary event and will inform you of long-term support plans as they become available.
Hope that clears things up.
Keesler Air Force Base reports that a 53-foot moving truck and about 30 airmen, sailors and Marines will deliver humanitarian aid to Our Lady of Fatima Church, 2090 Pass Road, around 3:30 p.m. today. They're bringing non-perishables, water, diapers, baby food, formula, over-the-counter medication, personal hygiene products and pet food. The church is a supply hub for more than 20 organizations providing relief.
The city of Gulfport will allow business owners and citizens who reside south of the railroad tracks to visit their property from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Citizens must provide an official drivers license or work ID for entry and they will not be permitted to spend the night.
Harrison County EOC officials are requesting volunteers now check in at the Volunteer Command Center, under coordinator Scott Lewis, at Harrison Central High School on the east side of U.S. 49, 4+ miles north of I-10. Churches and associations or groups interested in sending volunteers should contact Scott at (561) 389-9667. Non-perishable items may be dropped off at the POD staging area at the corner of U.S. 49 and Dedeaux Road, just north of I-10. Perishable goods should be taken to local churches or food banks for immediate distribution. Healthcare professionals wishing to volunteer should now call (800) 272-2707. Memorial Hospital at Gulfport is requesting replacement nurses, orthopedic surgeons and emergency room personnel. They should contact MEMA at (601) 352-9100.
EOC volunteer Raymond Taber passed one of our reporters an urgent message this morning. People in the special needs shelter set up at Biloxi High School on Popps Ferry Road, just south of the Cedar Lake exit of I-10, have asked that we relay this message: They need help, please come get them. Here are their names and individual messages, transcribed from handwritten notes.
Things have begun to slow down, only just a bit mind you, and I've had a chance to go through e-mails. I found this message, from Petty Officer Jennifer Harrington: I feel like I just found out about the death of an old friend. I am a Petty Officer in the US Navy, and I was stationed at Keesler for more than a year. Seeing pictures of the destroyed city that was my home for so long is devastating. When I left in March, it was with a heavy heart. I loved Biloxi, and I have so many fond memories - dinners at the Grand and Boomtown Casinos, shopping at Edgewater Mall, my apartment in Edgewater Garden, Christmas at the Beau Rivage. Now it's all gone. My heart aches, but my prayers are with you. We'll get back to that, I think. It will take time, but we'll get there.
From a press release (I promise to have fresh information from local communities later today): Northrop Grumman's Pascagoula and Gulfport facilities will be closed for normal production through Tuesday, Sept. 6. Employees who have not checked in with their supervisors should do so immediately or contact the information line at (800) 995-4318 for further instructions. Employees with Navigator Credit Union accounts can visit the branches in Gautier, Vancleave, Gulfport and Mobile, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., beginning Tuesday.
Via press release: Contrary to some rumors, benefits are to be used for the family for whom they were issued, and those benefits will not expire for 365 days from the date of issuance. Benefits for September were issued for all eligible Mississippi recipients on Sept. 3, 2005, and can be accessed through their Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) accounts. Food stamp recipients who are not residents in one of the disaster counties, but want to make an inquiry in regards to benefits or losses, should call their local county office.
The Mississippi Department of Health is asking employees who have been displaced by Hurricane Katrina to please make contact, when possible. They need to hear from you to determine your work status. Employees can call (601) 576-7400, (601) 576-7642 or toll free 1-866-458-4948. The Mississippi Department of Employment Security is also attempting to locate its employees. They're urged to contact the state office, toll free, at 1-877-633-7275 as soon as possible. Citizens who have any information regarding MDES employees or WIN Job Center staff are also encouraged to call.
From Sun Herald staffers in the Jackson County area this morning, it looks like the Exxon and Chevron on U.S. 90 in Gautier near the community college are open, as are Fayard's BP and Chevron on Highway 609 (Washington Avenue) in St. Martin.
Company spokesman Kurt Brautigam just stopped by with an update on restoration of power along the coast. Mississippi Power employees and outside crews have now restored service to more than 44 percent, or 74,000, of the company's customers. "Service was restored to more than 13,000 customers Sunday and we were able to re-energize several additional substations, including Picayune, Bay St. Louis and Waveland, Richton, Poplarville, Shubuta and Carriere." Workers were also able to connect two major transmission lines, strengthening and stabilizing the backbone of the power delivery system. "It will take months to restore our system to conditions where it will operate normally," he said. But they're working hard out there and more and more people will experience that wonderful sensation of hearing the air conditioner kick on seeing the lights flicker overhead. Mississippi Power's outage reporting line: (800) ITS-DARK (800-487-3275) Customer restoration totals by division as of 6 a.m. Sunday: Coast 22,281 30% Pine Belt 23,534 40% Meridian 28,503 76%
Rev. Edward Moses, pastor of St. Paul United Methodist Church, and his wife, Vickie Hearn-Moses, who works with the Mississippi Children's Health Fund, are helping to bring in pediatrician Irwin Redlener, president of the Children's Health Fund, and singer Paul Simon, co-founder of Children's Health Fund, to Biloxi. They'll be at the Main Street Baptist Church (on Division, turn north onto Main) from 11:45 a.m. to 1 p.m. today. Two pediatric/medical units (one for D'Iberville, one for Biloxi) will be on hand, staffed with physicians and social workers. Nothing like a little good music to soothe the soul, too.
I just talked to Phelisha Reddix of Vancleave, who wanted to share a poem written Sunday by her 20-year-old daughter. Tierra Reddix said she was inspired to write it by what she's seen on television, especially video of a mother shaking her baby for minutes to wake him. Help is coming, it just takes time, she added. To those Hometown saviors taking the time to help or find missing neighbors, defending a strong message because time is of the essence But we question Money has been raised to aid these great states Just how much does it take When so many lives are still at stake Some in water wading, others on rooftops waiting For someone or something to save them People crying watching young and old lying Dying in the streets from heat and lack of food and water to drink Showing little patience, hating the situation Waiting so long to be flown to the Astrodome With whereabouts of friends and family unknown Us at home too are affected with heads in hands rested Katrina has tested the strength of one nation It'll take everyone's blessing and a sign from heaven To let them know we're listening So many lost or have someone missing We are praying and wishing you find your way to open arms and kisses And those who have found shelter we know that fear is still there Just keep hope and know that we are all here. Thanks, Tierra.
I wanted to start the day out with a little good news. A few days ago I took a call from a lady named Kay who was staying near West Wortham Elementary School, where they had access to water, ice and food, but she was desperate to reach her family. I e-mailed them for her and I just received this reply: Kay and I spoke today and ALL my family is OK and already have jobs and an apartment in Tunica to move to. The casino's are taking care of their own. THANK YOU SO MUCH! I thought my family was dead and YOU reunited us. Once again God Bless, and know America and its peope will take care of those down there. Wow.
Sunday, September 04, 2005
Curfew, she approaches, so I'm going to shut down the blog for the night. We'll be back in the morning with more information for you on hurricane recovery here along the coast.
From Christina Donaghy, via e-mail: I don't know if it has been addressed yet, but I have information on Dunbar Village Nursing Home in Bay St. Louis, where my father is the dietary manager. Before Katrina, Dunbar Village was evacuated to Jackson, MS. From what my father tells me, the residents are eating well and have electricity. The residents are at Pinewood Baptist Church, (601) 829-4500. It's nice to hear they've been taken care of.
Triton of Long Beach will be resuming limited production at their T-West facilities every day from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. beginning Monday, Sept. 5. Triton employees who are able to are being asked to report in to T-West during the hours of 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. in order to gather information regarding their status and well-being. All employees should plan, if possible, to return to work on Sept. 12.
All Department of Mental Health clients and employees on duty at the time of Hurricane Katrina are safe. Patients in the care of South Mississippi Regional Center in Long Beach who were transported to Mississippi State Hospital in Whitfield, Specialized Treatment Facility in Lyman, Ellisville State School in Jones County, Boswell RegionalCenter in Magee, Hudspeth Regional Center in Whitfield, and NorthMississippi Regional Center in Oxford. The facilities at South Mississippi Regional Center are intact, but dueto loss of water, power and telecommunication services, evacuation wasnecessary. The patients in the care of South Mississippi State Hospital in Purviswere evacuated Sept.1, to Mississippi State Hospital’s campus. Thefacilities at South Mississippi State Hospital are intact, but due toloss of water, power and telecommunication services, evacuation was alsonecessary. The DMH facilities receiving the transfer of these patientswill be contacting their families to provide updates of individual’sstatus and location. All DMH facilities have sent relief teams to the Gulf Coast to providesupplies to mental health facilities that remain in operation. DMH isalso providing local shelters with counselors to help those with posttraumatic stress. Details: (601) 351-8262.
From Sun Herald reporter Ryan LaFontaine: A Pennsylvania search-and-rescue team pulled two men from their Bay St. Louis home Saturday, a sign to other rescue workers that others may still be out there. The Federal Emergency Management Agency dispatched search teams here from New York, Florida, Maryland and beyond, just hours after Katrina's vicious winds begin to settle. After hearing of Saturday's rescue, search teams continued to sift through rubble on the north side of Washington Street in the Bay, while others used fan boats to comb the Pearl River in Pearlington.
Operational branches of Hancock Bank and Wal-Mart stores will cash payroll checks as follows:
Hancock Insurance Agency will open a claims processing center on Monday, Sept. 5, at the Hancock Bank branch office located on U.S. 90 in Bay St. Louis. This location will remain in operation to assist customers of Hancock Insurance Agency until futher notice. Staffers will be standing by to help customers with speedy processing of their claims.
Jerri Mock of Conway, Ark., asked us: I was so happy to see everyone in the Anderson family is OK! And I know they will build back as that whole family has spunk! We have been coming to Ocean Springs every other year for over 25 yrs now. We were to come this year for the Peter Anderson Memorial Arts Festival - for the first time our vacation fell ust right! I wonder if the little B&B we had reservations for is still standing? Can you tell me how the museum faired through the storm? Ocean Springs is one of our favorite places on earth! Our hearts go out to all of ou down there who have lost so much............ Well, Jerri, according to Sun Herald features writer Pam Firmin, all the businesses in downtown Ocean Springs seemed okay when she was down that way. That's not to say there wasn't some water damage, but at first glance it's a thumbs up. She also said the museum faired well and all the artwork was stored for safe keeping. The murals in the community center are probably okay as well. As far as the Peter Anderson Festival, one of my favorite events in the area as well, Pam said she just isn't sure but it would be a great thing for Ocean Springs if they did. Here's hoping...
Entertainment and casino companies are asking casino employees to call the following contact numbers so that employers and unions will be able to provide vital info concerning how to receive paychecks, insurance benefits and other assistance:
Triton, Long Beach ATM Manufacturer, is asking all employees that are able to report to T-West at 2 p.m. Monday, Sept. 5. Triton's manufacturing facilities and executive offices in Long Beach sustained little damage and plans are to resume limited operations this week. Employees who are unable to report to the T-West facility during that time can call 1-888-633-3327 to notify Triton of their current status and well-being.
Some tidbits from Sun Herald reporter Quincy Collins:
A resident in the Windance community of Gulfport reports that no aid has been received other than one truck load brought in by a neighbor. If any Red Cross, churches, groups or individuals monitoring this blog want to help, they need it badly. Reach them at (228) 832-7916.
Ruth's Chris Steakhouse and Hard Rock Hotel and Casino Biloxi/New Orleans employees can call toll free (888) 241-6632 for assistance. A live operator will be available 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and you can leave a message after hours.
Just got some helpful news from the Wiggins area in Stone County.
Former Sun Herald copy editor Des Toups checked in with city editor Kate Magandy earlier today. It speaks to what we're trying to do here, and how hard we're trying: You guys are doing an incredible job. The Web site has been a lifeline for thousands of us desperate for info. I'm floored by the thoroughness and humanity in every story you do. Even 2000 miles away, the storm is on everyone's lips, and I've been near tears hearing everyone on the radio, in our local paper, at work, in the malls and restaurants, asking the same question: What can we do to help? Tell them, Kate. Let them know that the help they so want to offer will be even more critical a month from now. I'm awed by your performance. Much love/Des Thanks, Des. Good to hear from you and we'll tell them.
Dr. Michael Christie will open his OBGYN offices in Biloxi and Ocean Springs on Wednesday, Sept. 7. The Ocean Springs number is 818-0025 and the Biloxi number is 374-3749.
Memorial Hospital employees have been asked to report to work at regularly scheduled times Tuesday, Sept. 6. They need you down there.
Reporter Kymberli Hagelberg has been out in the field most of the day and brought back some messages from coast residents and damage reports from the Biloxi area: I'M OK
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