Connecticut power worker remembers Hurricane Katrina

(WTNH)– It’s almost ten years since Hurricane Katrina hit the gulf coast. In the days after the storm, so many from our region went there to help out.

It’s hard to explain how much damage Hurricane Katrina did, because the pictures don’t do it justice, but Warren Rogers tries to explain it to folks using a thick packet of photos he took when he was there.

“When Katrina left Mississippi there was not a single meter in Mississippi Power that was working. They were 100% flat,” said Warren Rogers, Eversource Safety Supervisor.

The power company now called Eversource was called CL&P back then, and it sent a fleet of trucks and dozens of people to Hattiesburg, Mississippi to help restore power. We were there, too.

Warren Rogers is a safety expert and when he got to Mississippi 10 years ago, he could see from the beginning, this storm was not following the rules. A week after Katrina, the Connecticut crews found no one had even started restoring the infrastructure.

“But the devastation, the debris field – you didn’t even try to get the old poles or the old wires out from anything, you just rebuilt the whole thing from scratch,” said Rogers.

It was no picnic for the crews that went to the gulf coast after Katrina. We drove an RV down to sleep in. The power crews were sleeping in tents, some slept in their trucks, Warren says he slept in his car. But one thing was welcoming about the gulf coast: the people.

“They’d been without power 9, 10 days in that heat and humidity and they’re offering us drinks,” said Rogers.

After long days in brutal heat, Connecticut crews re-wired an entire Hattiesburg neighborhood. And on their last day there, as the hot sun came up, Warren took a couple more photos.

“Somebody overnight had put this sign up, and that’s what you left Mississippi with, and that meant everything,” said Rogers.

Ten years later, it’s a sight he still has not forgotten.

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