Hurricane Eve Makes Katrina Survivors Nervous - - The News for South Mississippi

Hurricane Eve Makes Katrina Survivors Nervous

It's only been ten days since workers began putting Ellen Stewart's Second Street house back together.

"It's going to come, but it makes us real nervous. June first isn't as bad, but come August, September you know we're going to think of it even more," she says.

Ellen's house won't be finished until August, so she and her husband will spend the first two months of the new storm season in a trailer behind the house. She says she'll get out at even the slightest hint of rocky weather. 

"Anytime we have any kind of a storm, tropical storm or anything, my cats and I are going up to Dedeaux Road to my friend where we stayed in Katrina. There's no reason to stay here. Even a bad thunderstorm, it makes you nervous."

Still, Ellen says she is encouraged by the rebuilding going on around her. The house next door is being renovated and a brand new home is going up across the street. Ellen refuses to leave the neighborhood that holds so many happy memories. 

"The week before the storm, the heart walk where thousands came up and down we turned on our sprinklers. I'd get up early, not very often but for that I do because it's just fun, it's part of being Gulfport," Ellen says.

Katrina's flood waters took almost everything Ellen had.

"They found my rings and my pearls, but I lost a lot of jewelry, but I'm here."  

She says those things can be replaced. She says life is precious, both hers and those of her beloved cats. 

"They were being fed and taken care of and they all made it, I don't know how.  Mama Sue, I bet you didn't think you'd ever be on television. What 'cha think?" she asked her cat.

An interesting note about the Stewarts, about two weeks after the hurricane on September 8th, Ellen's husband David was home when some unexpected visitors stopped by. It was Vice President Dick Cheney and his wife Lynn. Gulfport Mayor Brent Warr was giving them a tour of the devastated Second Street neighborhood.

by Marcia Hill

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