There wer 6 engines at Engine Company Number 7. A 20-foot surge came through.
We're talking a metal building with brick sides that had offices and sleeping quarters for fire fighters. This was a solid building, and the only thing left was the roof and the front facade.
The devastation can hardly be explained, Doyle Smith says the photos cannot even tell the entire story.
His day started at 5 a.m.
He, and another retired police officer, would drive to a local Red Cross center that needed more help, sometimes taking them 100 miles away from their base in Hattiesburg, Mississippi.
Doyle says the loss was hard to take, even as an outsider. The raw emotion filled the centers, taking its toll on everyone.
This is a small community called Waveland, Mississippi. When you get out of your car and just walk around this debris, it's not just wood and concrete. You see pieces of china, letters, jewelry. You see teddy bears. You see generations of memorabilia, all mixed into that.
But, Smith says despite the heat, bugs, and obvious stress, he says hope was evident among both volunteers and survivors... easily spray painted on one house left alone after the storm.
It read, "My house is gone, but I still love Waveland, Mississippi. I'll be back, promise. PS, we're all ok."