3/26/07

The coast - A year and a half later

Hubby and I had a nice little getaway this past weekend. We went to Gulfport/Biloxi to meet a couple that he plays WoW with. They were very nice people, and I enjoyed meeting them - even if we didn’t have a whole lot in common. I also now know that I will NEVER beg hubby to come to any board gathering with me. I felt very out of place most of the time, because he *knows* these people - literally the only thing left was for him to meet them face-to-face. He plays WoW with them, talks on teamspeak with them, and even has their cell numbers. I, however, didn’t know them and didn’t know much about them at all.Every time they’d get to talking about the game or other people they played with I felt left out, and I really didn’t know what to expect going into this. Needless to say, if I meet other people from my board (which I know I will eventually) I won’t be upset if he doesn’t want to come.

Other than the uncomfortableness, I had a great time. It was nice to be away just the two of us, Hubby loved the whirlpool tub and I think would have taken it home instead of me if he could have found a way to get it out of the room, and I’m glad I had a chance to see Gulfport and Biloxi since Katrina.

The place is so heartbreaking. It’s been a year and a half, and while I know it looks better than it did in the days following Katrina, it’s still awful. On 49 in Gulfport things look pretty much back to normal. Most of the businesses are open again, and life is going on like it should. However, when you get to 90 and drive it along the beach, it’s like being in a different world. There are no gas stations, hotels or major restaurants. No souvenir shops. No gorgeous old homes. Everything is gone. They are rebuilding some, but you would never guess it’s been a year and a half. On 90 in Biloxi we saw a Wendy’s and a Waffle House that were open, a few brand new apartments, and the casinos. That’s it. At the other end of 90, there isn’t anything. People are starting to rebuild their houses, but there aren’t any businesses open at that end. And the bridge is closed on both ends. At the Isle of Capri you have to turn around because you drive into water if you don’t, and if you want to get past (I think) Bay St. Louis and Waveland, you have to take a ferry. There is no other way to get out.

The VA hospital? Destroyed. William Carey University? Building have been gutted. Beauvoir? No longer exist. It’s so unbelievable. And while I know that New Orleans suffered a lot of damage, this is a major sore spot for me. City officials in New Orleans have known for years that the levis were unstable. It wasn’t Katrina that harmed New Orleans - it was Lake Ponchatrain flooding and the levies not being able to hold the water like they were supposed to. The problems in New Orleans could have - and should have - been prevented. However, in Biloxi, Gulfport, Pass Christian, Long Beach, Ocean Springs, Waveland, Bay St. Louis and every other small Gulf coast town that no longer exist as of a year and a half ago, what happened there was unpreventible. So yes, New Orleans did suffer losses, and what happened to them was tragic. Preventable, but tragic. However, on Mississippi’s coast - the state that no one remembers, and that you never hear anything about - there are still people living in FEMA trailers beside a slab with their house number spray painted on it, because that’s all Katrina left of their entire world. Historical landmarks are gone. Not flooded, not damaged - completely gone. Nothing left. No sign of the majesty that once was. So please, I beg of you to remember the ENTIRE Gulf Coast - specifically all those tiny cities along the Mississippi coast, but the ones in Alabama and Louisiana as well. New Orleans is coming back better than ever. Mississippi still has a long way to go.

And a few links for more information:
http://www.beauvoir.org/
http://www.biloxi.ms.us/
http://www.wavelandcity.com/

1 comment:

sarahandscottsmommy said...

My hubby's employer used to have summer picnics in Waveland. We'd make the trek there each year for several years and would love to drive down 90 to stay the night in Gulfport. I'm so sad to hear about the devestation still there. I'd love to look at the huge mansions in awe with those beautiful trees....that are now gone. How sad.