A Washington, D.C. couple visiting their daughter in New Orleans drove over to the "Katrina +10" exhibit this afternoon and became the 20,000th visitors to the museum.
Scott Rose and Mary Liz Austin, who live in the nation's capital, wanted to find out about the Katrina recovery while visiting their daughter, Aubrey Rose and had heard about the six-month-long exhibit at the Ohr-O'Keefe Museum of Art in Biloxi.
"I wanted to understand about the Katrina recovery process," Mary Liz said.
Daughter Aubrey, who has worked for a New Orleans law firm for about a year, said she's been amazed by the Katrina impact. "Everybody has a Katrina story," she said, "whether they're in New Orleans, Lafayette or on the Mississippi Gulf Coast."
The group, which also included Aubrey's brother Austin Rose, was greeted by Ohr-O'Keefe Museum Director Kevin O'Brien shortly after 2:30 this afternoon.
"I want to welcome you as the 20,000th visitors to the 'Katrina +10′ exhibit, and I want to thank you for being here," O'Brien said, shortly after the group paid their admission fee. "This is the story of the Mississippi Gulf Coast experience with Katrina, and we are delighted that you're now part of that story."
O'Brien presented the group an Ohr-O'Keefe tote bag that included books by George Ohr, the "Katrina +10: The Commemorative Photo Album and DVD" and other mementoes.
The "Katrina +10"³ exhibit - which opened March 20 and features the prize-winning work of the Sun Herald, WLOX, Mississippi Department of Transportation, Mississippi Power and Hands On Mississippi - is open daily at the Ohr-O'Keefe through Sept. 12.
On June 2, the exhibit welcomed its 10,000 visitors, two special education school bus drivers from Georgia.
"We expect the numbers of visitors to increase exponentially as we get closer to Aug. 29, the actual 10th anniversary of the storm," O'Brien said. "It's like we tell people: Everybody in south Mississippi has a Katrina story. This is the Katrina story of all of south Mississippi."
See photos of the 20,000th visitors
Scenes from the K10 exhibit
Buy the official DVD and photo album
Released by Vincent Creel, Public Affairs Manager, City of Biloxi