Two Hurricane Close Calls - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

11/01/05

Two Hurricane Close Calls

Can you imagine surviving Hurricane Katrina, then getting slammed by Hurricane Wilma just weeks later? That happened to two pastors and their wives from Gulf Coast Worship Center. They say they weren't sure if they'd ever make it back Long Beach, alive.

 Pastors Kinsey, Nichols and their wives helped distribute 6-million pounds of relief supplies after Katrina. For their tireless work, the four were treated to a "getaway" trip to Cancun, Mexico. Two days into their relaxing trip Wilma reared her ugly head. Youth Pastor Carl Nichols of Gulf Coast Worship Center says, "News spread that the hurricane got to a category 5 and so Thursday we went to a shelter and that's when everything started to unravel."

Hotel employees brought them to a theater in a mall that was turned into a shelter with hundreds of others. Darla Kinsey, Pastor Kinsey's Wife, "the food started dwindling, the electricity went out." Pastor Eddie Kinsey, "there was no ventilation, the temperature is about 105, 106 degrees in there and it was getting worse all the time, after that went out, the toilets went out." Pastor Kinsey says, "We were in pitch black dark , we were hearing the mall coming down, you could hear the skylights falling, when you can't see something , it's even more traumatic."

They were quickly moved to the mall's parking lot, then to a local bull fighting ring. Darla Kinsey says the people in charge were clue less about what a Hurricane could do. "They said the storm's over, but it was really the eye, we knew what Katrina could do and I really thought we were going to die." But together they prayed and their strong faith, they say is what got them through it. Nichols, "We all four went to sleep and slept most of the night with a roof flapping, walls caving in, people panicking , so I don't know what it would have been like without the peace of God."

by:Rebecca Powers

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