Community rallies for former residents uprooted by storm

PORT TOWNSEND — Last Friday, watching pictures of the devastation caused by Hurricane Katrina that saturated the airwaves, Jordan Smith and her sister-in-law, Erin McNamara, decided to find out how they could help.

Learning that other people were concerned, they organized a meeting at the community center Sunday night to coordinate community resources to help people whose homes and lives had been swept away.

On Saturday, Smith received a call from a former Port Townsend family asking for help.

“We have told them just to get here,” Smith said. “I know people in the community will help out.”

The call came from Kim Ayers, the wife of William Ayers, a former chef at Fort Worden State Park dining hall and Blackberries Restaurant. When the food service contract at the state park went to another company, he and his family returned to his native Louisiana and were living in New Orleans when the hurricane hit.

“Kim said they barely escaped by the grace of God,” Smith said.

From the telephone call, Smith learned that Kim, William and their children, Victoria, 15, and Kayla, 12, managed to crawl through a second-floor window and get a ride in a neighbor’s boat.

Reaching dry land safely, they were able to drive to Shreveport, where they went online to the Port Townsend Leader Web site and saw that the two sisters were organizing the community meeting.

Deciding to head for Port Townsend, the Ayers called the number on the Web site and asked for help starting over.

More in News

Piper Pettit, project manager for the state Department of Transportation, speaks to the Port Angeles Business Association on Tuesday about upcoming fish passage projects that will significantly impact traffic in the city. (Ken Park/Peninsula Daily News)
Culvert plan in Port Angeles told

Construction expected summer 2023 at earliest

Memorial Day edition to be online only

Help available if needed to set up access

Danny McEnerney.
New Jefferson County Fair manager tells of upgrades

‘Focus on providing ways for people to get a dose of joy’

Port Townsend Paper fined for water quality violations

Power outages among reasons for spill, says general manager

Plan could add 3,000 square feet to Sequim Library

More details expected on Thursday

McDonald Creek, as seen from Old Olympic Highway on Sunday, May 22.
McDonald Creek fish passage project expected to begin this summer

Work to improve fish passage in McDonald Creek has moved a step… Continue reading

A crow makes off with a crab stolen from a gull on the beach at the Port Townsend Boat Haven. Cloudy skies are forecast Tuesday and Wednesday with high temperatures near 60 degrees. A chance of rain returns for Memorial Day weekend. (Steve Mullensky/for Peninsula Daily News)
Crab dinner to go at boat haven

A crow makes off with a crab stolen from a gull on… Continue reading

Washington state’s rate of COVID-19 cases on the rise

The rate of COVID-19 cases is rising in Washington. The… Continue reading

Orca, stuck overnight, finds its way into Strait

Researchers identify whale as 8-year-old male from transient pod

Most Read