6 Months

It's been six months since Hurricane Katrina destroyed the world in which I and over 300,000 Mississippians enjoyed. A world in which homes over 100 years old were passed down generation to generation. Most of those homes are gone. A world in which it used to be a simple matter to go to the beach to just enjoy it or to go fishing. Many areas are still to dangerous to go to. The saving grace through all of this is the people along the Mississippi Gulf Coast. We are pulling together and you see more signs of rebuilding even along the beachfront. But at this mid-point, there is a great deal of depression. In the months before, most could keep busy with tasks of clean-up, securing shelter, etc. Most really didn't have time to dwell on the utter destruction wrought. There is a certain fatigue of dealing with insurance adjustors, arbitrators, and the constant fight of trying to get building materials into the area. People I know who have never suffered from depression are going through it now. It breaks my heart to see them suffering with what I've gone through many years.

The reality is sinking in that our communities are never going to be the same. But there is one redeeming factor, the spirit to rebuild is as strong as ever. Now there are just as many scenes of rebuilding as there of demolition. The Mardi Gras parades are a symbol of defiance. Gulfport, Biloxi, D'Iberville, Waveland, Pass Christian, Long Beach and other cities along the Mississippi Gulf Coast held their parades in the midst of the destruction. A symbol of the goodness of life and that the future will be brighter.

Some bloggers have said why should millionaires be helped to rebuild? The sad fact is that the majority of homes were not destroyed along the beachfront and even those that were on the beachfront were over 100 years old and had been passed down generation to generation. This is what a typical home looks like that was destroyed.

You gain knowledge about demolition. How many trucks does it take to haul off the debris from a house that is being demolished? This house, it took 4 truck loads of the size pictured. Larger houses take 2 larger trailers. I gained these facts watching as one by one the houses that used to surround where I work were carried off.

It wasn't just wooden houses that were destroyed. This house in Gulfport shows that even brick homes could not survive the onslaught of the 28 foot storm surge.

Even though this picture of Urie pier in Gulfport was taken in November, it still looked like that last week. Chunks of asphalt were lifted up as were chunks of concrete.

People are coming back to the beaches. The pine trees whose needles had turned red are now turning green again. The live oaks have their beautiful green again. There's a pair of osprey that are nesting close to where I work. The red-tailed hawk I used to see on my morning commute to work is back. The sounds of the backhoes doing demolition is being drowned out by the sounds of nail-guns. We will rebuild and it's going to take awhile but we are going to help one another through this. That is still the one thing Katrina couldn't take from us, our spirit.


Anonymous linda said...

Glad to hear there's some good news there!

4:34 AM  
Anonymous seawitch said...


There are some glimmers.

6:16 PM  

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