Riding Out a Hurricane on the Gulf Coast

The county of Mobile, Ala., is still gauging the effects of Hurricane Katrina, which made landfall in the area as a Category Four storm. Photographer Glenn Andrews spent the day there; he offers us his impressions of a long, wet day.

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ROBERT SIEGEL, host:

Now we're going to move east to Alabama near the Mississippi state line where Glenn Andrews, a photographer for the Mobile, Alabama, Register, spent the night in Irvington, his hometown.

What did you see today?

Mr. GLENN ANDREWS (Photographer, Mobile Register): A lot of damaged roofs, a lot of tree limbs down and a lot of tress that, because of the soaked ground, have just started to fall.

SIEGEL: Now between the flooding and the downed trees, I assume that it's difficult to navigate the highways there.

Mr. ANDREWS: There have been some Good Samaritans already through some of the major roads who have, I guess, taken chain saws and chopped up any large trees that are blocking the roadways. Most of the main arteries in the south part of the county are passable.

SIEGEL: Now you're a photographer.

Mr. ANDREWS: That's right.

SIEGEL: Is there an image you captured of what hit around Mobile today that sticks in your mind and is stuck in your camera?

Mr. ANDREWS: Well, I just photographed a lady who was sitting in her trailer sometime this morning, and high winds basically peeled the roof of the trailer off as she was sitting in it. And she and an acquaintance are going through what's left of the personal belongings to try to salvage something out of this trailer that looks like someone basically blew it up. The walls are knocked askew; the roof is God only knows where.

SIEGEL: Someone whose life really was devastated, materially at least, by this storm.

Mr. ANDREWS: Yes. She's--the lady who was living there was still shaken, and I'm sure this happened earlier this morning. So, you know, going on eight, 10 hours later, she's still pretty emotional.

SIEGEL: Had people evacuated the area in south Mobile County before the hurricane?

Mr. ANDREWS: Some people have. Some people such as my next-door neighbor tend to evacuate for every storm. Some people, especially I'd say what you might classify as the old-timers, the people who have lived here for years, they don't leave. A lot of people who have stayed through Frederick and who survived the approach of Ivan, they haven't left; they've stayed.

SIEGEL: Give us a checklist of what's working and what isn't right now. Do you have power, landline telephone service, running water? What's there? What isn't there?

Mr. ANDREWS: We've got running water, and that's probably about it. The telephone has been out for hours. My wife and I lost power at about 6:00 this morning, so we haven't had any chance to check cable or Internet or anything of that matter. You can already hear the hum of gasoline-powered generators as people have a TV or a reading lamp or, you know, some other sort of electrical convenience going.

SIEGEL: Well, Glenn Andrews, thanks a lot for talking with us today.

Mr. ANDREWS: My pleasure.

SIEGEL: Glenn Andrews is a photographer for the Mobile, Alabama, Register, and he was talking with us from south Mobile County.

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