Friday, January 26, 2007

Wow..


I have the day off today, so I drove to Gulfport to find a bookstore. I had to drive to Gulfport due to the fact that the Books-A-Million in Biloxi blew away during Katrina. I knew Biloxi got hit during Katrina, but all you normally hear about is New Orleans. So, as I was driving down Coastal Highway (Hwy 90) I was given a serious dose of reality. 1 year and 5 months after Katrina made landfall, this place is still seriously jacked up... I would estimate that 75% of the buildings that were "beyond repair" have been torn down. (on Hwy 90) And, a few of those have been rebuilt and more still are in the process of being repaired.. The other 25% are still just standing as tattered remains of their previous existence. The rest? Just empty lots where buildings, houses and businesses used to be. To me, it looked like God had taken a big eraser and just wiped away everything that existed on the first 150 feet of land. The beach in Biloxi was never anything to write home about. Now, you can't even go out on certain areas of it due to erosion and repair attempts. I drove by the Edgewater Mall on my way to Gulfport. There were still big sheets of plywood over some of the windows, but I couldn't tell if it was open or shut down. I spoke to a lady in the grocery store this morning that spent 8 hours in a tree with her 80 year old mother, her young son and two dogs before being rescued. Everyone made it out safely in her story, but there were many others that didn't.. (Over 1800 people died in the wake of Katrina) On the bright side, Biloxi and the surrounding areas have made huge strides in their recovery. As I said, many of the buildings have been repaired and a lot of them are back in operation. Even a bunch of the casinos. Of course, they are probably the biggest money makers in this area, so I'm sure they were a priority for the local economy. It's starting to look "fixed" around here, but there is still a long way to go.
I don't know.. My little trip today just gave me a real dose of reality about what that type of storm can do. You can see it on the news all day and it's still just a story on the news. You ride around in the middle of it or see the aftermath with your own eyes and it becomes REAL.

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2 Comments:

At 26 January, 2007 18:30, Anonymous E.Z. said...

I know what you mean, we hauled some travel trailers to Keesler's Air force base not long after the storms. It was surreal, some streets was completely close off due to the amount of debris that had been pushed up with bulldozers. We never made it in to New Orleans, but took some to a staging area in Baton Rouge. I can only imagine how bad New Orleans was just from seeing the surrounding rural areas. We are s'posed to head to Biloxi next week, curious to see how It has changed, if any.

E.Z.

Ps. Never heard back from Steve about Feb. check out dive, sent him another email recently, may call dive center next week and see
If I don't hear anything from him.

 
At 26 January, 2007 19:08, Blogger **D** said...

Well, since you came here right after the storms, you will notice a HUGE difference. Lots of clean up, but still a lot to go..

Not sure why you didn't hear from Steve.. He told me he emailed you back. Must not have gone through for some reason. I don't know what the Feb schedule is either.. Since the confined is the 17th and 18th, I'm pretty sure the Check Dives will be the follwoing weekend. I won't be able to make that trip. Since I don't get home until next Friday night, I had to reschedule my Drill weekend to the 24th and 25th weekend..
Good luck and keep me imformed..

 

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