Video: Hurricane Katrina Refugees Still In NE Mississippi One Decade Later
TUPELO, MISS. (WCBI) – This weekend marks the ten year anniversary of one of the most devastating hurricanes to ever hit the United States.
Hurricane Katrina killed almost 2 thousand people, left thousands stranded or without homes and caused many families to re locate.
Today, we visit with a Northeast Mississippi family, who came here to get out of the storm’s path, and have stayed ever since. WCBI’s Allie Martin has more.
Tina Reimonenq and her daughter, Tatiana, have spent a lot of time recently, looking through stacks of pictures that show how the family started over, ten years ago.
Tina, along with her husband, and ten kids, called New Orleans home in 2005. But as Hurricane Katrina approached the coast , Tina decided it was time to go. She left her Ninth Ward home, with her children, while her husband stayed behind.
A day or so after the storm made landfall, the Reimonenq family made their way from Hattiesburg , to Tupelo, where they found shelter.
“I remember going to the Bancorpsouth because they had so much food.” Tatiana said.
Within weeks, the family was reunited with their Dad, Tony and with the help of West Jackson Street Baptist Church, and other ministries, they found a permanent home.
Their Northeast Mississippi neighborhood was a world apart from their 9th Ward home.
“I loved the schools, I loved the community, I love the atmosphere, I love the fact that the children were able to go outside and play and be children,” Tina said.
The family has made a decade of memories in Tupelo, and 22 year old Tatiana says the friendliness from locals has been a constant, from day one.
“I remember the people in school and they were just nice and like, ‘oh, do you need anything,? and they were just kids and just like me, there wasn’t much they could do, but they were trying to help on a level they can,” Tatiana said.
A decade after the killer storm, most of the Reimonenq family is still in Northeast Mississippi, and Tina says their faith has never wavered.
“My plans is for the boys to finish high school, I have two thinking about going to MSU and hopefully, by the grace of God it happens,” Tina said.
In fact, Tatiana just graduated, with a degree in broadcast journalism.
“Maybe I will get to cover a hurricane and I understand the seriousness of it now,” Tatiana said.
More than 2000 people sought refuge from Hurricane Katrina in the Northeast Mississippi area.