Many folks still haven't recovered from Hurricane Dennis, but that storm may have taught a powerful lesson. The debris from Dennis is still being hauled away.
A fan still runs in Mindy Johnson’s house. The freak July storm produced storm surge four feet higher than expected.
Mindy and her family rode it out last time, but they aren’t going to take a chance with Katrina.
Mindy says, “We don’t want to be here and stuck in the midst of it, you know, nothing for five days and stuff like that, and your house all salty, and you feel sticky every single day.”
Neighbor Chuck Fowler isn’t staying either. Thirty miles down the coast, marina manager Wade Hilton was busy tying off his floating docks.
Wade says, “We did a lot before and a lot of things were saved.”
The people with boats at this marina learned a lesson during Dennis when the water got chest high. Now all of these boats are expected to be out of the water by Saturday afternoon.
The big boats are already heading up river to wait out the storm.
J.B. Pybus, a boat owner, says, “Hopefully it rides it out okay.”
For the governor, the fact people are learned a lesson from Dennis in July is music to his ears.
“If a storm is coming, you have to assume the worst. You have to prepare as best you can,” says Bush.
And for many along the Panhandle coast, the weekend will be anything but relaxing.
A thousand National Guardsmen have been called up. More may be activated depending on how much Katrina strengthens and which path she chooses.