This post is part of an ongoing series, “Time and Tide: Ten Years after Katrina.” Special thanks to Preston Everett, Archives and Records Services, for writing this post.
September 12, 2005—two weeks after Katrina—the MDAH Archives and Records Services Division created damage assessment teams to assist public libraries, county courthouses, city governments, museums, and historical societies on the Coast. The first team went to the Old Spanish Fort Museum in Pascagoula. The museum is three miles from the beach and its backyard is the Pascagoula River. The river backed up from Katrina’s surge, flooding everything in the area. The water rose up to four feet in the museum damaging the building and its artifacts.
Due to the wide-spread devastation no recovery or damage assessments had been done at the museum. Artifact cases were still sealed and frequently contained water resulting in mold, mildew, rust and other problems. Many of the museum’s artifacts were irretrievably damaged.