Port Townsend: Mississippi town residents praise sister city efforts

PORT TOWNSEND — Since Hurricane Katrina hit the Gulf Coast four months ago, Mike Cuevas has had very little comfort in her life.

A lifelong resident of Bay Saint Louis, she lives in a small trailer without hot water or a shower.

Family and friends that lived near her have left town, and familiar landmarks — the library, the churches, the shops along Main Street — no longer exist.

Even her favorite place to sit on the beach is gone.

Yet on New Year’s Day, she celebrated with friends and counted herself lucky.

“This is the best New Year’s since my husband died in 2002,” Cuevas said.

“All my regular friends are displaced. This gave me a sense of family to come here.”

Cuevas is the cultural affairs director-turned-volunteer relief coordinatorfor Bay Saint Louis, a Mississippi gulf town that Port Townsend chose as the focus for its hurricane relief efforts.

Along with three other Bay Saint Louis residents visiting Port Townsend this week, she attended a community brunch to share what life is like since the disaster and what Port Townsend’s help has meant.

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NOTICE: A TOWN MEETING to introduce visitors from Bay Saint Louis and hear the latest update of sister-city connections will be held Sunday from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. in the Port Townsend Community Center, Lawrence and Taylor streets.

The event is sponsored by the Port Townsend-Bay Saint Louis Sister City Project.

For more information, phone 360-385-5794, 360-344-4163 or 360-385-7043.

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