Last Sunday was the first time I had been to Pass Christian since Hurricane Katrina hit. Sometimes it's just too hard to look at mile after mile after mile of damage. My heart aches for all those who lost loved ones, their homes and their livelihoods. The beauty which once existed is no longer there. Though nature is making a comeback as are the people along the Mississippi Gulf Coast, it so slow. But it is progress.

The following pictures are comparisons of the storm surge.

This building located at the Pass Christian Harbor was gutted all the way to the third floor. I estimate each floor to be about 10 feet high. The truck gives some idea of the height of each floor. Pass Christian is located about 20 miles east of where Katrina made landfall in Mississippi. Mississippi was hit with the worst winds and of course the worst storm surge.

This was taken in Biloxi which is about 26 miles east of Pass Christian. It's what's left of the Harbor Master's office. The man in front is the harbor master. The building is three stories high. The storm surge gutted the first two stories as you can see. The waves reached the windows on the third floor.

At times, it's hard to imagine the idea of a 20 to 30 foot storm surge. Just picture it this way, if you had been standing where the harbor master is, you would have had 15 feet or more of water above your head. A storm surge that is almost 40 feet is also hard to imagine. But just picture yourself in the truck in the top picture and try imagine all that water above you.

As I've posted before, the storm surge in a hurricane is highest at the point where it makes landfall. Biloxi is almost 46 miles from where Katrina made landfall. The storm surge is still unbelievable.

Another comparison, the Harbor Master building was built to take into account the highest storm surge Mississippi had up until Katrina. Hurricane Camille hit in 1969. Until then, it had the worst storm surge Mississippi had ever seen. The storm surge from that hurricane would have only gutted the first floor of the Harbor Master's building.


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