The topic of Hurricane Katrina is a difficult one. We live about 2 hours north of New Orleans and the Gulf Coast. On August 29 of 2005, I woke up about 5 AM, and the wind was rough already. About 7 AM the wind was blowing so hard– it knocked our light pole down, hence no electricity! The rough wind was sometimes in white visible swirls.
Branches at first blew off trees and then the trees began falling down. A
tornado was in the inner wall of Katrina and our area was in its path. I went outside to video tape and then I heard a train sound. I had always heard that it meant a tornado was coming. The sound was coming closer and closer. I went inside and saw the tornado come within 40 yards of our front porch and took down almost every tree in our front yard. One tree almost hit our house, barely missing the front porch.
After about 10 hours of heavy winds (some over 120 mph), the winds finally subsided. The roads were blocked by trees in every direction. The hurricane winds and the tornado took trees down in EVERY yard-literally. Homes hit by trees– some yards most all the trees -laying like matches. Countless light poles and power lines were everywhere. The gas trucks, mail trucks, and trucks delivery food couldn’t get through because of all the trees down on the roads and highways.
The feeling of helplessness that nothing was open for basic water, food, and gasoline was frightening. We were told they didn’t how long it would be until anything opened. (We had prepared and bought water, food, and gas.) On the fourth day, a few stores opened up.
After a week, most stores opened. I have never appreciated gasoline so much before in my entire life. I will never take food, gasoline, or water for granted again. We were told it would be 4-6 weeks for our electricity to be restored. Because so many people came to help repair the power lines, we had it back 6 days later. Our phone
service wasn’t restored until 3 1/2 weeks later. We didn’t get regular mail service for over a month.
When I finally saw some television coverage later that week, I was so shocked and stunned. I couldn’t believe all the devastation to the Mississippi Gulf Coast and the water in New
Orleans. I love New Orleans and visit there at least once a month. I remember going to the Gulf Coast a lot as a teenager visiting my Grandmother’s
condominium. I honestly do not think the Gulf Coast or New Orleans will ever fully recover. It so heartbreaking to see the homes and all their possessions piled up in the front yard– clothes, appliances, furniture, etc. –all ruined by the storm surge and flooding. We were fortunate just to have wind damage to our area.
You do not hear much about the Mississippi Gulf Coast in the news. The Gulf Coast is where the real tragedy lies. It is literally destroyed and looks like someone dropped a bomb on the area.
Many neighborhoods just literally are washed away. Houses there that were built to withstand hurricane force 5 winds– gone. Most of the beachfront homes and business are gone– many with very little trace left– washed out to sea. It saddens me so much to see all the damage to New Orleans and the Gulf Coast. - Kimberly
New comments added February 2006:
In New Orleans, all you hear about is the 9th ward. In mid-January I went to look at some of the damaged areas. I had NO IDEA the water and wind damage to all areas of the city. MANY middle class, upper middle class and wealthy areas-severely damaged or ruined. One beautiful Italian Villa style house-my favorite-they had just moved in 6 months ago-severe water damage. The affected neighborhoods are empty-like a ghost town all over New Orleans. It was so bad I couldn't take pictures and put the on this web page-seen too much devastation to last a lifetime.
In my humble opinion, the Mississippi Gulf Coast and New Orleans will never return even close to what it once was.
Sadly, these places are literally-GONE WITH THE WIND....
(This page may take a minute to load- many pictures)
This is from the GULF COAST NEWS website- www.gulfcoastnews.com. It is an excellent source of information of the cleanup of the Mississippi Gulf Coast. They have many more photographs on their website as well...
"As GCN has been reporting since Hurricane Katrina devastated the Mississippi Coast, the extent of the damages to homes, businesses and lives are far more than what the Coast and state can handle. And while some in the national media are trying to keep the Katrina issue on the plate of news, there is a sense of Katrina fatigue in both the public and by news editors. While the first four months have been difficult, some of the hardest decisions by governing officials and Coast residents have yet to be made. Some local governments are still on the edge of financial collapse, the same is true of many homeowners that have yet to receive the federal help or any insurance settlements for their destroyed homes. The Coast remains in serious condition and still needs help. The Hurricane Katrina Disaster is unprecedented in the simple horrific scope of the harm it has caused to hundreds of square miles of the deep south."
Below are pictures of the cities of Gulfport, Biloxi, Long Beach, and Pass Christian on the Mississippi Gulf Coast Beach.
These pictures were taken the first week of January 2006.
Before Katrina, the beach was lined with beautiful old mansions, businesses, and restaurants. Now, it's all gone...
Our former condominium in 2003
After Katrina-4 months later...
Pool on property now
Debris in middle on complex now
I found this vintage radio cassette tape on the property- very fitting- titled THE SHADOW- "The Isle of Fear"
Starring Bill Johnstone as broadcast October 30, 1938.
New condominium has been built on site.
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