Guardsman Recalls Ravaged Town

1 decade 2 years 6 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
COLUMBIA- A new mobile pantry location through The Food Bank for Central and Northeast Missouri will open Wednesday afternoon providing... More >>
2 hours ago Wednesday, October 17 2018 Oct 17, 2018 Wednesday, October 17, 2018 6:27:00 AM CDT October 17, 2018 in Top Stories
LADDONIA—The Community R-6 School District is the second district to get new beef options added to its school menu. The... More >>
2 hours ago Wednesday, October 17 2018 Oct 17, 2018 Wednesday, October 17, 2018 6:13:00 AM CDT October 17, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - The Columbia Police Department investigated a shots heard call on Tuesday evening. The incident happened at the... More >>
10 hours ago Tuesday, October 16 2018 Oct 16, 2018 Tuesday, October 16, 2018 10:03:00 PM CDT October 16, 2018 in Top Stories
COLUMBIA - The Columbia Neighborhood Watch recently secured funding for next year. The Columbia City Council awarded them this money... More >>
12 hours ago Tuesday, October 16 2018 Oct 16, 2018 Tuesday, October 16, 2018 8:17:00 PM CDT October 16, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA – Burrell Behavioral Health introduced a medicine-first approach to its facilities in Missouri’s central region to help clients with... More >>
14 hours ago Tuesday, October 16 2018 Oct 16, 2018 Tuesday, October 16, 2018 6:40:00 PM CDT October 16, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - A Columbia woman will be collecting items to transport down to Florida in order to help the recovery... More >>
14 hours ago Tuesday, October 16 2018 Oct 16, 2018 Tuesday, October 16, 2018 6:40:00 PM CDT October 16, 2018 in Continuous News
COLUMBIA - Despite a wide gap in their campaign finances, Sen. Claire McCaskill and Josh Hawley remain locked in a... More >>
14 hours ago Tuesday, October 16 2018 Oct 16, 2018 Tuesday, October 16, 2018 6:20:00 PM CDT October 16, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — Missouri vehicle owners will be getting new red, white and blue license plates to commemorate the... More >>
14 hours ago Tuesday, October 16 2018 Oct 16, 2018 Tuesday, October 16, 2018 5:48:00 PM CDT October 16, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY – A New York man pleaded guilty on Tuesday to two counts of attempting to produce child pornography.... More >>
16 hours ago Tuesday, October 16 2018 Oct 16, 2018 Tuesday, October 16, 2018 4:21:00 PM CDT October 16, 2018 in Top Stories
COLUMBIA - Jerome Sally, a Hickman High School assistant principal, is suing Columbia Public Schools as a result of "systemic... More >>
17 hours ago Tuesday, October 16 2018 Oct 16, 2018 Tuesday, October 16, 2018 3:23:00 PM CDT October 16, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - Lt. Governor Mike Kehoe made a stop in Columbia Tuesday to campaign for Proposition D, the gas tax... More >>
19 hours ago Tuesday, October 16 2018 Oct 16, 2018 Tuesday, October 16, 2018 1:28:00 PM CDT October 16, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - A Royal Inn manager said Tuesday the maintenance team was beginning renovations when the building's second-floor walkway came... More >>
19 hours ago Tuesday, October 16 2018 Oct 16, 2018 Tuesday, October 16, 2018 1:25:00 PM CDT October 16, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - A federal judge sent the lawsuit over Kenneth Suttner's death back to circuit court on Friday after... More >>
19 hours ago Tuesday, October 16 2018 Oct 16, 2018 Tuesday, October 16, 2018 1:01:17 PM CDT October 16, 2018 in News
(CNN) -- The problem of unsolicited robocalls has gotten so bad that... More >>
21 hours ago Tuesday, October 16 2018 Oct 16, 2018 Tuesday, October 16, 2018 11:19:50 AM CDT October 16, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - A Kansas woman connected to a deadly car crash in Boone County has been sentenced to five years... More >>
22 hours ago Tuesday, October 16 2018 Oct 16, 2018 Tuesday, October 16, 2018 10:27:00 AM CDT October 16, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - A Boonville man will spend the next decade in prison after pleading guilty to a deadly 2017 shooting.... More >>
22 hours ago Tuesday, October 16 2018 Oct 16, 2018 Tuesday, October 16, 2018 10:13:00 AM CDT October 16, 2018 in News
CALIFORNIA - A former employee in the Russellville and California school districts pleaded guilty Friday to having sexual contact with... More >>
1 day ago Tuesday, October 16 2018 Oct 16, 2018 Tuesday, October 16, 2018 8:43:00 AM CDT October 16, 2018 in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — Water levels on the Mississippi River are dropping north of St. Louis after high waters forced... More >>
1 day ago Tuesday, October 16 2018 Oct 16, 2018 Tuesday, October 16, 2018 8:38:00 AM CDT October 16, 2018 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 42°
9am 44°
10am 47°
11am 52°
12pm 55°