Marsha Barbour the ‘face of Mississippi recovery’

Being the governor’s wife meant “I could go where other people couldn’t go.” She also, Gov. Barbour said, became his “eyes and ears” in the field.

“I had FEMA’s ear, and (Mississippi Power President) Anthony Topazi’s, and I had all these wonderful cell numbers,” Marsha Barbour said. In working with families, she would discover problems and red tape holding things up, and try to cut through it.

“You had to get shelter for people,” Barbour said. “But the FEMA trailers brought their own problems. We started getting them in, but then I don’t know if it was written in some act or what, but the electrical pole they needed didn’t come with the trailer. But the trailer won’t be delivered until they have electricity. I had to go to Anthony and my husband and tell them.”

People in Hancock County needed food, and Marsha Barbour learned a shuttered school cafeteria had some locked away. Through the governor, she got in touch with School Superintendent Hank Bounds, who told her to find someone to cut the locks. She did and distributed it.

Clarion Ledger
8/21/15