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Topazi, who led Mississippi rebuild post-Katrina, dies at 68

Anthony Topazi

The man credited with helping to “get the lights back on in 11 days” as Mississippi’s Gulf Coast recovered from Hurricane Katrina has died at the age of 68.

News outlets report former Mississippi Power Co. President Anthony Topazi died Friday from complications from ALS, known as Lou Gehrig’s disease. The Alabama native was at the utility’s helm in when Katrina hit on Aug. 29, 2005. By Sept. 10, power was restored in southern Mississippi.

Topazi was then appointed to the Governor’s Commission on Recovery, Rebuilding and Renewal and in 2006 and founded the Gulf Coast Business Council to focus on long-term rebuilding. That council’s first full-time president, Brian Sanderson, said Topazi’s mission “was to make the Gulf Coast a better place to live.”

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