BAYOU LA BATRE, AL (WKRG) — Monday marks the 11th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina.
Last year’s 10 year anniversary was marked by several dedications across the coast. This year may come and go with little fanfare.
Still, progress is being made in Bayou La Batre. Ernie Anderson unlocks the doors of what used to be the Quality Seafood building. It’s a place that still has some of the scars of Katrina. Anderson says it was shut down after the storm but he bought the building in 2013 and brought part of it back to life as a seafood processor. He’s still remodeling some of it. It’s working but not totally whole. The place is sort of like a microcosm of Bayou La Batre. It’s a place where storm memories linger.
“Folks are always coming by, ‘where was the water, what did it do’ and that’s still going on,” said Anderson, who runs the Graham Shrimp Company. Outgoing Mayor Annette Johnson remembers images and the evacuations of 11 years ago.
“The aftermath is what I think just devastated everybody when we came back in and realized the significant damage we had in our community and it was great,” said Johnson. One thing Johnson says she’d like to see changed his housing-she’d like to see some of the people who’ve been living here, some since the beginning have a path to homeownership.
“An opportunity for the pathway to ownership they were promised that from the very beginning,” said Johnson. She was defeated this week in a municipal election but says she plans to continue to serve the community after her term is up in November. Johnson says they’ve been watching Invest 99 L. Department heads met three days ago to discuss plans if the system became a major tropical system.