The I-10 Kampground in Theodore, Ala., has became a haven of sorts for Hurricane Katrina evacuees, according to a report in the Mobile Register.
The RV park, located near the Mississippi border, has not only been a salvation for people forced out of their homes, but also served as a staging ground for dozens of insurance adjusters and construction workers laboring in the hurricane aftermath.
Greg Wheatley, a resident of Waveland, Miss., which was virtually wiped out by Katrina, said the I-10 Kampground was the closest operating RV park he could find.
“We’ve been glad for our time here in Alabama. What we’ve seen of it at this camp has been nice,” said Wheatley, whose family may soon head to northern Mississippi to stay with relatives.
All of the campground’s 195 spaces are full. Insurance adjusters occupy about 60% of the spaces, Mississippi evacuees have 20%, and long-term residents and vacationers have the rest, the campground manager reported.
Ches and Autumn Bostick, a Texas couple who work as an Allstate Insurance Co. adjuster team, said they’ve been at the campground since the week of the storm. Traveling back and forth to Mississippi, they have visited dozens of families who lost everything, they said.
“It’s sad to see the devastation. It’s incredible what’s happened,” Autumn Bostick said. “But it’s good to help people, to find out what money they need and make sure it gets to them.”
The Bosticks, who have been adjusting for five years, spent much of last year dealing with the aftermath of a string of hurricanes that struck Florida, they said. The couple travel with their 13-year-old daughter, who is home-schooled.
Waveland, a town of 7,000 about 35 miles east of New Orleans, received one of the hardest hits from Katrina.
Brian and Jan Roe, also staying at the Theodore campground, said their Waveland home is about a mile from the coast, next to a swampy area called Jackson Marsh. When Jan Roe visited last week, she found that “Jackson Marsh is now a lake. I can get in our boat and go fishing. All the marsh grass and vegetation is hanging from the trees now,” she said.
Their home had been on high pilings, but apparently it wasn’t high enough, she said. Floodwaters ripped out the walls, and they lost all their possessions.
“We’ve made new neighbors since we’ve been here,” Jan Roe said of their new home in the campground.