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Calm, compassion in wake of storm much appreciated

As southwest Mississippi continues to clean up and recover fromHurricane Katrina’s widespread devastation, anyone looking aroundour community certainly will see the resiliency of arearesidents.

Despite the damage and inconvenience caused here by Katrina,residents have pulled together to weather the storm and itsaftermath while also opening their hearts, churches and homes todisplaced residents of southeast Louisiana and the Mississippi GulfCoast.

Government and utility company officials have reported greatstrides in bringing services back online in recent days. Comparedto just a week ago, vastly more area residents now have theirelectric, water, telephone, garbage pickup and cable servicesrestored. In a relatively short time, much progress has beenmade.

Compassion and patience have been abundant in the last twoweeks, and we only hope these sentiments will continue to prevailas extensive, long-term recovery efforts kick into high gear. Wehave great confidence that area residents will continue to keeptheir spirits up as the days and weeks wear on.

For those who lived through Katrina, a full recovery can andwill take place. It may not be fast or easy – most likely, it willnot. As time passes, a range of emotions – from stress and anxietyto anger and sadness – are only natural. But relying on faith,friends and family, area residents will make it through.