Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Katrina's Mississippi Legacy Five Years After

In August 2005 Hurricane Katrina smashed into the Gulf Coast. Like most people my attention was focused on New Orleans and the barrier islands south of it. But the worst part of the storm, the Category Five winds and surge hit the Mississippi Gulf Coast.

This May, almost five years after the storm my wife and I spent two nights in a Holiday Inn Express Hotel in Longbeach Mississippi. While I was there I surprised to find that the damage Katrina inflicted on this coast was still there. Yes, the wreckage of the buildings had been carried away. The Highway rebuilt and the beach filled in with dredged sand. But of the homes, houses, businesses, and infrastructure that was once there less than 5% had been rebuilt. For three to four blocks in from the beach it was empty of what had been there. Some trees, lots of slabs, some pilings, stilts upon which houses house once stood, they were there. Weeds were there. Scrub bushes and trees were there. People were not there.

It was this way from Gulfport Mississippi to Waveland Mississippi or for 80 miles on my odometer.

Some structures were rebuilt. Generally they we back a ways from the Gulf however.

Here was a long white sand beach with a 4 lanes highway stretching along most of it devoid of houses.

Most people who visit this site just kind of whiz through it.
This time take your time. Enlarge the pictures to catch their detail.
Think about what you are looking at.
Now they are threatened with something new that may wipe out the beach itself.

Here near Waveland the road itself is gone.

1 comment:

pecheur said...

Love the pictures. I felt like I was looking at home.

i know when we were back last summer, I couldn't believe how Katrina was still being talked about.