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Huge chunks of pavement and concrete pillars are all that is left of the Highway 90 bridge leading out of Bay St. Louis, MS

T

he satellite image of Hurricane Katrina covered 90,000 miles, an area almost as large as England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales combined. She covered the Gulf of Mexico from Cuba to Florida to Texas and her winds hit 175 miles per hour when she first found land off the Louisiana coast. The 23-foot high surge swept six miles inland through Mississippi. Katrina dropped 62 tornadoes in eight

states and killed more than 2000 people as her winds picked up water from two lakes, Pontchartrain from the east and Borgue from the south, as well as from the Gulf of Mexico. Winds either funneled water backwards into the city of New Orleans via the Intercoastal Canal, or lifted it two stories high and slammed down mile-long levees, flattening 18-foot panels of metal and concrete. What some call the worst natural disaster in United States history may eventually have

cost 150 billion to the economies of Louisiana and Mississippi alone. The things we know are immense and often prevent us from thinking of the small: one person, one family, and Katrina’s cost to them. One woman, Marion Conwell, then 56, is a quiet Southern lady whose pure white hair brushes her chin each time she bows her head to grace the table. This is her story, beginning August 28, 2005.

Summer 2010 Longleaf Style 37

Longlead Summer 2010  

The Summer 2010 issue of Longleaf

Longlead Summer 2010  

The Summer 2010 issue of Longleaf

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