State Representative Danny Carroll was on the Gulf Coast of Mississippi yesterday (Tuesday) as part of a visit to the two states hit hardest by the hurricane. During a telephone interview Tuesday, Carroll seemed deeply shaken by the destruction he saw. “Looking at some of the damage… There was a twenty-five foot wall of water that came in off the coast with the wind, and it’s just completely demolished motels, restaurants. It’s taken semi trailers and basically put them in windrows. It stripped everything off of the trees… Trash and debris everywhere: in the trees, in piles,” Carroll said. “You just cannot begin to imagine the force of this storm and the devastation that it caused.” Carroll said it looks like a war zone. “Driving through now what used to be a residential area all you see is debris on a concrete slab,” Carroll said. “You have to look for indications that it used to be a house.” The drive continued past a patrolling six-wheeled Army transport vehicle, and highways strewn with remains of the homes.“It’s hard to see how they could ever really clean this up and put it back to what it used to be,” he said. “But I suppose, one day, we’ll visit down here and it’ll be hard to tell that Katrina was ever here.” Carroll was there as part of a trip to the three locations being served by Iowa Telecom communications trailers — Gulfport, Mississippi, and Baton Rouge and Covington, Louisiana. The trailers are self-contained communications centers, equipped with 16 telephones and internet-ready computers. Each trailer is stationed at a tent city where Bell South employees work 12 or more hours each day to reestablish communication throughout the battered south. Carroll flew back to Iowa Tuesday afternoon.
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