Remembering Hurricane Ivan

By: Stephen Bowers Email
By: Stephen Bowers Email

Wednesday marked the anniversary of a storm that has almost been forgotten.

Five years ago, Ivan slammed into the Gulf Coast. But it has largely been forgotten, because of the damage Hurricane Katrina did a year later.

Eddie Ivy was in Meridian working for the newly established Homeland Security Department during Ivan and remembers the local impact that included damage to local homes and businesses.

"It was a pretty significant storm at that point," said Ivy. "Really, looking back, it was a very good preparation for what was to come a little less than a year later."

Also in the area for Ivan was our own Wade Phillips. He worked for a station in Georgia at the time and was helping sister station WMBB in Panama City with their coverage.

"I remember standing on the beach for the better part of two days and watching it come in, watching the waves as they got closer and closer to me, and watching them get bigger," said Phillips. "Watching the winds get stronger and feeling like I was going to get blown away any minute. It was an experience every reporter ought to have at least once."

This reporter had just moved to Tallahassee, Fla., and was dealing with the largest tornado outbreak that area had ever seen, thanks to Ivan. I was the only source of information to my family in Pensacola during the pre-dawn hours as Ivan cam ashore.

Hurricane Ivan was the sixth costliest hurricane ever, causing more than $13 billion in damage to the U.S. It also took the lives of more than 120 people, either directly or indirectly.


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