1 going to hitch up their britches and get focused on
2 the future. Cleanup was beginning by then in some
3 communities.
4 And cleanup has gone a lot farther,
5 frankly, than I would have expected. The
6 restoration of power blows me away. That
7 Mississippi Power and Entergy have restored all of
8 their customers who can accept power is just a
9 breathtaking accomplishment. To see the
10 superintendent of education and the school people
11 talking in terms of all of the schools being open by
12 no later than the end of October, and the way they
13 are going, I think a lot of them are going to be
14 opened a good bit earlier than that.
15 The way that so quickly displaced school
16 kids were taken in in schools around the state.
17 There's several in my home county who are enrolled
18 in our schools. But there are school kids as far as
19 away as Desoto County. I think geographically
20 that's the fartherest county you can get from the
21 coast, in Desoto County. And yet, they have a
22 number, I think several dozen kids from the coast in
23 school up there.
24 The re-opening of Oreck and other
25 businesses exceeded, exceeds what my expectations
1 were at the time. And I was struggling on
2 particularly fuel, but, you know, there were times
3 when we felt like we were just behind where we
4 wanted to be on water and ice and food. We turn
5 around now and while certainly you could always have
6 done faster and better, I don't see any long term
7 negative impact.
8 And it is primarily, in my opinion,
9 because of the resiliency and the strength and the
10 courage of the people in the affected areas. They
11 are not moping around. They are not whining, they
12 are not in the victim hood. They are into self
13 reliance and critically into helping their
14 neighbors.
15 Marsha, my wife, was down there almost
16 everyday. And one of the things she marvels about
17 being in the area that was poor before the storm
18 hit, handing out supplies, and people saying, "I
19 don't want to take your last one or two or I don't
20 want to take but one because there are people down
21 the road who may need this, or there's a lady across
22 the way who's a shut in and you take this to her."
23 If you watch television, you would not imagine how
24 many people say, "I am so much better off than my
25 neighbors and I want to help my neighbors."
1 And I really do believe that is the
2 moral, spiritual underpinning of why the coast,
3 particularly the place I visited the most, has come
4 back so far so much faster. I think the inland
5 counties are doing even better. They've had power
6 longer, their damages were less, still serious.
7 So there were days in this deal where it
8 was pretty scary. But I think we've long turned the
9 corner to looking forward. And it's a great tribute
10 to Mississippians and all of the rest of the people
11 in the country who have supported us and helped us.
12 Thank y'all.
13 (Time noted: 5:35 p.m.)


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Phone: 601.359.3150 Fax: 601.359.3741

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