Rising from Katrina: How My Mississippi Hometown Lost It All and Found What Mattered [NOOK Book]

Overview

Hurricane Katrina left Eddie Favre, the affable mayor of Bay St. Louis, Mississippi, with nothing but the shirt and shorts he was wearing. State and local officials offered to send him pants, but Favre declined. “Wearing long pants sends a signal that everything is okay,” he insisted. “And until such time as everything is okay here, I’ll wear my shorts.”

Even George W. Bush took notice. “I arrive here at this important school and he’s got ...
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Rising from Katrina: How My Mississippi Hometown Lost It All and Found What Mattered

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Overview

Hurricane Katrina left Eddie Favre, the affable mayor of Bay St. Louis, Mississippi, with nothing but the shirt and shorts he was wearing. State and local officials offered to send him pants, but Favre declined. “Wearing long pants sends a signal that everything is okay,” he insisted. “And until such time as everything is okay here, I’ll wear my shorts.”

Even George W. Bush took notice. “I arrive here at this important school and he’s got short pants on,” the president remarked during a visit nearly five months after the storm. “Eddie, I like a man who sticks to his guns.”

Those who read this moving story of the small town of Bay St. Louis and the Mississippi Gulf Coast will discover an entire region that did just that.

The 2005 hurricane season was the most devastating in history. People from the Bahamas to Mexico to Louisiana, Mississippi, and Florida suffered a record 15 hurricanes, four of which reached Category 5 strength.

Katrina was the costliest. Images from the Superdome and the rooftops of New Orleans are seared into the American consciousness.

But few realize the Mississippi Gulf Coast was where Katrina hit full force and where the destruction was worst. Entire towns were reduced to shoulder-high rubble by the winds and the unprecedented 30-foot storm surge.

Bay St. Louis was the former home of CNN correspondent Kathleen Koch. From her initial Katrina assignment in Alabama, Koch headed west in the storm’s aftermath. The closer she got to her community, the more personal the story became. Old friends asked her to search for loved ones whose bodies would soon be found. She reported from the sites of once-beautiful homes—including her own—stripped to their concrete pads. Time and again, she heard residents’ pleas to spread the word about the dire needs on the Mississippi Gulf Coast.

Rising from Katrina is a story of the kindness of strangers, of minor miracles—and, above all, of how despite bureaucratic snarls and insurance battles a region rolled up its sleeves and rebuilt. It is also the story of a veteran reporter who, struggling to maintain her objectivity amid loss, traveled her own personal path from devastation to recovery.
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Editorial Reviews

Brian Williams
"It’s a compelling story...The folks in Mississippi who have battled back from this storm deserve credit indeed, along with our continued attention."
Douglas Brinkley
"As a longtime Bay St. Louis citizen, one whose house along the Jordan River got washed away by The Beast, I read Kathleen Koch’s extraordinary Rising from Katrina with keen interest. A first-rate reporter, Koch got all the harrowing details exactly right: death-rattle winds, raging storm tide, flying metal debris, and the god-awful feeling of rank abandonment. An all-around excellent memoir of Mississippi—too often forgotten—during the deluge of 2005. Read it and weep."
Larry King
"A great new book..."
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780895873903
  • Publisher: Blair, John F. Publisher
  • Publication date: 8/1/2010
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 368
  • Sales rank: 669,437
  • File size: 4 MB

Meet the Author

Kathleen Koch is an award-winning broadcast journalist and former CNN correspondent based in Washington, DC. Her two documentaries on Bay St. Louis's recovery received a New York Festivals Gold Medal. She also shared in the Peabody Award CNN won for its coverage of Hurricane Katrina. She lives in Clarksville, MD.
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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Posted August 1, 2010

    Rising from Katrina

    Kathleen Koch's book, Rising From Katrina, revisits a time when I, five years ago, sat mesmerized before the television, watching Hurricane Katrina tear through the Gulf Coast. Her narrative flung me back into the sheer horror of that terrible storm. But, more importantly, it led me, step by step, through the awful aftermath. Her portrayal of the events that followed burned images in my mind I will never forget. Through her words, I saw the utter destruction of the communities where people worked and children played only days before. I saw the residents as they truly were: traumatized, desperate, noble and determined to rebuild. Her observations, both balanced and compassionate, revealed her humanity as she overrode her reporter's training to remain a disinterested observer. Ms. Koch agreed to do her best to find the family and friends of strangers; without thinking, she reached for her wallet when an elderly man told her he had only 14 dollars between him and utter destitution (he chivalrously told her to put her wallet away); she wept over the utter ruin of her hometown and plunged into the early work of keeping residents alive before FEMA's arrival. Her narrative revealed, in moving and comprehensive detail, what is most admirable about the human spirit in the face of complete devastation: our ability to adapt, and survive and surmount adversity, no matter how overwhelming. I highly recommend this book; it is fast paced, a page turner, and destined to become an American classic.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 5, 2010

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