On August 29, 2005, Hurricane Katrina the most destructive natural disaster in American history, laid waste to 90,000 square miles of land, an area the size of the United Kingdom.
A twenty-five foot storm surge extended six-miles inland and washed the coastal communities of Bay St. Louis, Biloxi, D’Iberville, Gulfport, Pass Christian, and Waveland Mississippi completely off the map, leaving thousands homeless, destitute, and entombed in mud.
But that didn’t stop JOHN GOODING, a master carpenter and musician, who rode out the storm in a sound proof bunker with three other families.
Immediately after the storm, JOHN sprang into action. He loaded up his truck with well water, siphoned gas from abandoned vehicles, and ventured into a mud-blanketed wasteland to find survivors.
For two months JOHN volunteered his time and personal resources to deliver water and ice to the homeless, medical clinics, church groups and volunteers, despite hearing stories of good Samaritans being hijacked at gunpoint. JOHN never divulged his name while making his precious deliveries and was subsequently dubbed the ICEMAN.
Five years later, the ICEMAN sprang into action again to help his community, when on April 20, 2010, the BP Deepwater Horizon drilling rig exploded in the Gulf of Mexico, killing 11 workers and causing an estimated 250 million gallons of oil spill to spew into the Gulf.
The ICEMAN began assisting with the clean-up efforts when he was exposed to a dangerous concoction of oil, methane and the toxic oil dispersant Corexit.