Guardsman Recalls Ravaged Town

1 decade 3 years 4 months ago Wednesday, March 22 2006 Mar 22, 2006 Wednesday, March 22, 2006 9:26:44 PM CST March 22, 2006 in News

In the chaos after Katrina, the National Guard was responsible for everything, from feeding survivors to stopping looters.

Last September, most residents abandoned Kenner. Now, vehicles are back on the roads, and students are back in schools.

In Columbia, National Guard member Jude Florek is back behind the wheel, driving trucks for Pepsi-Cola. But, he still has Kenner on his mind.

"I think about it a lot, yes," he admitted. "I mean, you wonder how these people are doing."

Florek spent many nights in the Kenner gymnasium, where defense had a different meaning.

"It was set up as a compound, secured, with fence and guards," he recalled. "And we had our own fuel, water, things of that nature. Baseball field was our motor pool."

The Missouri National Guard used every part of the gym for its mission, setting up a communications center in the locker room, and putting an armory in a concession stand.

"I tell you, it was just like you was on the Army base," said gym administrator Leon Bonner.

Bonner also coaches Kenner's baseball team. And, as gym administrator, he helped the Guard move in.

"I really enjoyed working with them," Bonner remembered. "I really enjoyed it. It was my first time ever working with Army people, and it was really a good, a great, experience for me."

Kenner's mayor says the Guard played a vital role in the town's recovery.

"Everything from security to helping feed people, organization. You name it, pretty much they did it," said Mayor Phil Capitano. "The guard, I tell you, they gave us a big helping hand."

But, Kenner is already preparing for the next hurricane season.

"They're already telling us it will be a worse season this year than last year," said Capitano. "Don't look forward to it."

Watch KOMU News this Thursday to see how the battle over reconstruction is heating up in Kenner.

More News

Grid
List
KANSAS CITY — Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) arrested a man in Kansas City Monday as his family live-streamed the... More >>
7 hours ago Tuesday, July 23 2019 Jul 23, 2019 Tuesday, July 23, 2019 8:59:00 PM CDT July 23, 2019 in News
BRUNSWICK - Like many others, Chester George and his family were forced from their Brunswick home due to flooding in... More >>
9 hours ago Tuesday, July 23 2019 Jul 23, 2019 Tuesday, July 23, 2019 6:19:00 PM CDT July 23, 2019 in News
HOLT, Mo. (AP) — Authorities are searching for two brothers from Wisconsin who were reported missing after traveling to Missouri.... More >>
10 hours ago Tuesday, July 23 2019 Jul 23, 2019 Tuesday, July 23, 2019 6:10:00 PM CDT July 23, 2019 in News
BOONVILLE - City leaders in Boonville are weighing in on the impact of a new federal grant that will fund... More >>
12 hours ago Tuesday, July 23 2019 Jul 23, 2019 Tuesday, July 23, 2019 3:30:00 PM CDT July 23, 2019 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - The number of missing sex offenders in Missouri went down significantly since last year, according to Missouri... More >>
12 hours ago Tuesday, July 23 2019 Jul 23, 2019 Tuesday, July 23, 2019 3:18:00 PM CDT July 23, 2019 in News
JEFFERSON CITY – A FEMA disaster recovery center will close at 7 p.m. Wednesday and relocate to Osage County on... More >>
15 hours ago Tuesday, July 23 2019 Jul 23, 2019 Tuesday, July 23, 2019 1:04:00 PM CDT July 23, 2019 in News
BOONVILLE - Missouri Department of Corrections spokeswoman Karen Pojmann said three officers were assaulted with an unknown liquid at Boonville... More >>
16 hours ago Tuesday, July 23 2019 Jul 23, 2019 Tuesday, July 23, 2019 11:49:00 AM CDT July 23, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA — Prosecutors charged Ryan Wade Blair, 27, with two counts of assault and endangering a correctional officer. Blair... More >>
1 day ago Monday, July 22 2019 Jul 22, 2019 Monday, July 22, 2019 7:36:00 PM CDT July 22, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - Local, state and federal agencies will be conducting emergency preparedness exercises at the Hearnes Center on MU's campus... More >>
1 day ago Monday, July 22 2019 Jul 22, 2019 Monday, July 22, 2019 6:59:00 PM CDT July 22, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - A federal judge sentenced a Columbia man Monday morning for his role in a drug trafficking case. ... More >>
1 day ago Monday, July 22 2019 Jul 22, 2019 Monday, July 22, 2019 5:27:00 PM CDT July 22, 2019 in Continuous News
COLUMBIA - The Missouri Department of Transportation will receive $81.2 million to replace the Rocheport Bridge. The money will... More >>
1 day ago Monday, July 22 2019 Jul 22, 2019 Monday, July 22, 2019 4:36:00 PM CDT July 22, 2019 in News
HOLTS SUMMIT, Mo. — A Chicago man faces criminal charges related to a suspicious package case in Holts Summit. ... More >>
1 day ago Monday, July 22 2019 Jul 22, 2019 Monday, July 22, 2019 4:11:00 PM CDT July 22, 2019 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - A roof collapsed early this morning from too much rain. The apartment complex had a temporary fix... More >>
1 day ago Monday, July 22 2019 Jul 22, 2019 Monday, July 22, 2019 2:59:00 PM CDT July 22, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - Users of the popular social sharing site Reddit are upset after they say a scammer targeted them--posing as... More >>
1 day ago Monday, July 22 2019 Jul 22, 2019 Monday, July 22, 2019 2:50:00 PM CDT July 22, 2019 in News
MOBERLY - Contaminants stemming from an Orscheln facility may be in Moberly's air and sewers, and the City Council voted... More >>
1 day ago Monday, July 22 2019 Jul 22, 2019 Monday, July 22, 2019 2:12:00 PM CDT July 22, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) — Close to 90,000 children and 23,000 adults have been dropped from Missouri's Medicaid health insurance program... More >>
1 day ago Monday, July 22 2019 Jul 22, 2019 Monday, July 22, 2019 2:03:00 PM CDT July 22, 2019 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - A power outage has caused Lincoln University to close for the rest of Monday. The... More >>
1 day ago Monday, July 22 2019 Jul 22, 2019 Monday, July 22, 2019 11:37:00 AM CDT July 22, 2019 in News
MACKS CREEK — A building in Camden County has collapsed after floodwaters compromised the structure. According to a Facebook... More >>
1 day ago Monday, July 22 2019 Jul 22, 2019 Monday, July 22, 2019 10:28:00 AM CDT July 22, 2019 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 63°
5am 61°
6am 61°
7am 62°
8am 67°