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.