By John DeSantis
Senior Staff Writer
Kimberly Verret Green knows a thing or two about hurricanes.
When she was barely 10-years-old she, her brother and parents evacuated Dulac as a storm named Andrew, which had strafed Florida, set Louisiana in its sights.
Upon the family’s return back then in 1992 the damage to her home community was very real and very large.
“it was an experience to go through everything they had, my children, and for them to fund out everything in their rooms was lost,” her father said.
For months she and her family lived on the second floor of a church, packed in with 100 other people overall, after returning to Dulac. There was heartbreak attached to all of this because her grandfather, John Verret, died of a heart attack shoveling hurricane muck, making it all that much more memorable in the most painful of ways.
In the years that followed, when Kimberly was doing her best at growing up, and she’s got plenty of proof that this is the case.
Her father, the Rev. Kirby Verret, has the proof of this and many other things. He has accomplished a lot, as a minister, as a member of the educational system, and as chairman of the United Houma Nation at one time. But pride in himself yields easily to pride for his daughter.
He was proud when she married a Navy man, Robert Green, whom she now lives with in Jacksonville, Fl., as he was also for all of her academic accomplishments. They kenw she would go far when she attended Ellender Memorial, but Kimberly went farther still. There were milestones at Nicholls State University, at Old Dominion College, and the University of Florida at Jacksonville.
She now serves as family ombudsman – that’s a civilian post – for the families of those who serve aboard the USS Roosevelt, which is a destroyer based in Florida.
Her husband is in the Navy, and this is why Kimberly has been named a military spouse of the year, which is actually a thing, and is forever doing things to help her son’s football team, a Pop Warner group. She is always doing something to help somebody up there in Jacksonville, Navy or not.
“She is all about duty, she does not look for the limelight,” said her proud father.
The two have gotten to spend a lot of time together the past few days, which brings us back to hurricanes.
There is the matter of this storm named Irma.
In Miami they had flooding, and the lower Keys are said to be hit bad, although Key West might not have ended up so bad as was first thought, except for supplies and such. Monday the St. John’s River way up in Jacksonville had nowhere to go because Irma made the ocean too high, and so evacuating was likely a really good idea.
Kimberly Verret Green doesn’t have to be told twice about hurricane risks and knows a trouble storm when she sees one. To such a degree she has these smarts that she figured out Jacksonville might be affected even though few others were looking that way.
So she and her family headed west, and where they have been is Grandpa Kirby’s house.
And this is why, for the first time perhaps in history, a family from way up north – namely Jacksonville – has evacuated to Dulac because of a hurricane.
“You’ve got to make sure you know where it’s going and make a decision of what side of it you are going to be on,” is how Kirby sums it up.
So did Kimberly. And apparently her instincts on hurricanes are Dulac sharp, which is another reason her father is so Dulac proud. •