Mississippi's Constant State of Awareness
With hurricane season only weeks away, the almost certain devastation of an increasingly dangerous and rising Mississippi River combined with the announcement that two of the tornadoes that ripped through the state in late April were classified as E-5s, the state of Mississippi's residents are feeling a bit weary these days.
Governor Haley Barbour has delivered a few statements that he has cautiously prepared, in his effort of finding balance between ensuring his residents understand the potential danger, and then taking steps to protect themselves and their property without panic. Just don't confuse his slower-than-usual word delivery with a non-plussed attitude. You can be sure it's anything but.
Following Hurricane Katrina's August, 2005 landfall along the Louisiana/Mississippi border, it was Governor Barbour's quiet voice of reason and confidence that led the state into better days. Of course, the faith shown by Mississippians that he would indeed put to good use the $5.4 billion in federal aid served as a bit of sanity in an otherwise insane time. Even as politicians and government agencies were battling in front of the national media on a daily basis, Barbour bypassed the brouhaha and as a result, Mississippi recovered in amazing ways.
His leadership skills led to his award of the Thomas Jefferson Freedom Award, which is bestowed on a national leader who shows strong ethics and character in times of crisis .
Now, six years after that monster hurricane destroyed the region, Barbour has consistently found himself in the line of fire. In April, 2010, central and north Mississippi was slammed with several tornadoes that annihilated much of what was in their paths and killed at least ten people. Only weeks later, the BP oil crisis crippled the nation as all eyes were glued on the historic event, courtesy of underwater cameras that betrayed every single drop of oil that was being released into the Gulf of Mexico.Continued on the next page