More Firefighters Return From Katrina Deployment

Manchester New Hampshire

“A small group of New Hampshire firefighters returned from the Gulf Coast on Monday after spending four weeks in hurricane-ravaged areas of Mississippi.The crews worked in 95-degree heat with no power, no facilities and few signs of life, but they said they would do it all again.

The eight firefighters told stories of helping out in one of the hardest-hit areas, Waveland, Miss., where the eye of Hurricane Katrina struck with 140 mph winds and a 32-foot storm surge.”From the beaches to about a quarter to a half mile inland, it was just pickup sticks,” firefighter Jim Roy said.Roy led the crew as it delivered ice and water, handed out food vouchers and helped people find temporary housing.

Roy said the devastation was worse than New Orleans because everything in Waveland is gone, except for people’s spirits.”They’re determined, hopeful,” Roy said. “They’re a fantastic people, really.”Firefighter Jeff Goley recounted his conversations with survivors who rode out the storm in attics and were later plucked from rooftops amid the wreckage.”There were boats on rooftops,” he said. “It was incredible devastation, like a bomb went off.”Goley and the crew stayed on a military base in a tent with 350 people……..”full story