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Rising from Ruin is an on-going MSNBC.com special report chronicling two coastal Mississippi towns, Bay St. Louis and Waveland, as they rebuild after Hurricane Katrina.

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This project is evolving. Our daily dispatches coverage has been retired. Click here to see what happened in the area between mid October and January 1, 2006.

Background on the towns and this project is available under the about tab above.

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Cynthia Mahner throws carnations into the Gulf of Mexico from the beach in Waveland on a stormy Saturday.

She was the lone attendee of a memorial intended to give thanks for what remains and commemorate what was lost.

Though the intermittent heavy rain throughout the day kept everyone else away, Mahner said, "maybe it was more for me than anybody else."

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Why only 1? Bad weather? Something eles to do? No interest? Please don't say yes to any of those answers. I just finished a great weekend with my family celebrating my youngest daughter's 40th birthday. The first thing I did when I got home was to log on to see what was happening on the Gulf Coast. I am so lucky, and there are so many I's out there who may not have any concept of what you are living through. To walk out the front door of my house, still standing, and see nothing but devastation, doesn't really come through. We care.

The storms coming across the Gulf were beautiful. I so enjoyed going to the Good Life in Bay St. Louis to watch them come rolling in. Saturday August 27 we went there and I knew it would be the last time I would see the Bay the way it had been since I moved there in 1978. If I could just do that one more time - but I can't so I can only go forward as the rest of will do. We have no choice -------------
If anyone wants to help the homeless animals check out hssm.org.

May God Bless each and everyone of you. About 10 years ago I was going through a very difficult time and my chemistry said that "God will wrap his arms around you and give you your strength." I will never forget that and neither should anyone else. You are all in my prayers.

A Wisconsin native, I am stationed on the golf coast. I have mixed emotions of my return to the Mississippi coast. I am happy to return to the base, but dread to see what still hasn’t changed since the storm. My thought and prayers go out to the residents who call this area home.

I grew up on the Gulf Coast. It hurts me to no end to see my family and many friends as well as former co-workers have to deal with their individual hardships. I keep them in my prayers close to my heart that is al I can do for now. It took me weeks to find some of my friends and it was a true blessing to know that they were alive and as well as could be expected giving their circumstances.

I know there is a strong spirit not just on the Gulf Coast but through out Mississippi. That spirit is Stong and everlasting.

God Bless you all and keep you all well and strong.

Many people that I know got in touch right after the storm to see if we were OK, of course they have their own lives going own but are still keeping everyone here in their prayers. I did tell them about this site and that it would be a good way to see what is happening day by day. Others sites are katrina.passchristian.net, femaforgotwaveland.com, priceferrell.com, and for those concerned about the welfare of the animals hurt so badly - hssm.org. There are some touching photographs on operationeden.com. I wish that I could find some to pass along to keep people informed.

We must not let the people of the gulf coast think we have forgotten. I read what I can each day and say a prayer for all of you. We remember you all!

We are Lend A Hand.
We are a Harrisburg, Pennsylvania volunteer disaster relief organization started in 1989 to help with Hugo's damage. We are bringing 35 volunteers each month, on a Trailways bus, to D'Iberville, Ms. We have always been committed to "walkin' the walk". We intend to keep coming to D'Iberville each month. We won't quit. Be strong and know we're on the bus; on the way to help however we can.

I'm embarrassed for all of us at how quickly we forget things that happen to others, while we sit in a warm, dry, and safe home, with food on our tables, and clean clothes on our backs. We hope our donations sent from Baraboo, WI with love have arrived and can help in some small way. Bless you all.

I know of those whom live in New Orleans and Mississippi my heart goes out to you all.I survived
the big tornado here in oklahoma city so in a way
I do know how you feel.But to add to it we weren't
spread out all over the not knowing the faith of
loved one's. may God be with you all.SDB

I was stationed at Fort Polk, Louisiana, in 1970 and 1971 while I was in the US Army. We used to go down to Villa Platte and Lake Charles to have some fun on the weekend. The people there treated us like Kings. When they said "Y'all come back now" you could hear the sincerity in their Cajun accented voices. I have never forgotten their kindness to a Yankee GI. It broke my heart to see all the destruction and suffering that they went through. My prayers are with all of the folks on the gulf coast. May god with be with them and help them through this time of trial.

God bless the people of Waveland and Bay St. Louis.

Where I live, we have had several hurricanes over the lasr few years, yet even Ivan did not cause the damage to our city that Katrina did toi those communities. They are - and continue to be - in my hearts and prayers.

i feel sad for people who have suffered in the Kertrina storm

Please, please, please know that Americans still care. We need to know what else we can do to help. Reach out to us and you will be rewarded with the generosity of the American people.

I live in Canada, and I love the americans. Seeing the terrible pain and suffereing on a television was hard enough, but I can't imagine what people had to withstand, I pray that those who survived with there lives, will continue to have strength to be able to continue there struggle.I am not a religious person, but I believe in a higher power and I send you all my prayers..Que Dieu vous benit.(God bless you)

I live in the middle of Missouri. In the spring and fall, we have tornado watches and warnings all the time. In fact, we were under a watch this past Sunday.
We don't know when the "big" one is going to hit. Because of this, my heart and soul goes out to the people devastated by mother nature's wrath. I only hope and pray that when an F5 twister takes out my neighborhood, I will have people caring and praying for me. God bless everyone that has experienced loss from Katrina and Rita. God bless everyone that will experience disasters to come.

I am a native of New Orleans and remember many summers spent in Waveland. It breaks my heart to see the devestation Katrina wrought on that lovely town. It will take time and hard work but keep the faith and it will be beautiful once again.

god bless everyone that was involve in the Katrina disater,keep the faith that one day you will have stability again.I PRAY THAT god will richly bless you

It's heart warming to see so many of you still concerned about us down here. The destruction in our area is truly beyond belief. Both physical, and now emotional as we clean up and begin to rebuild. We have experienced a life altering event, nothing will ever be the same as it was. To the thousands of volunteers who came to help us, and all of you who have sent donations in what ever way you could, thank you so much. There are many areas like Waveland that will need help for a long time, so please don't let them be forgotten yet.

Waveland and Bay St. Louis were an absolute haven to my family when we lived in New Orleans. Many great hours were spent at Buccaneer State Park, and an incredible little seafood restaurant not far from there on "shore dr." (not sure, of street name, or even the restaurant name). thank you Cynthia for remembering.... FOR ALL OF US WHO COULD NOT BE THERE...THANK YOU, AND OUR THOUGHTS AND PRAYERS ARE WITH YOU ALL.

I worked at Hancock Medical Center for three years, lived in Kiln, Bay St Louis, and Pass Christian. All three places on the waters edge. My whole life as a child and teenager was defined by water;fishing,boating,swimming and generally feeling connected to the Gulf of Mexico. The big white house at the foot of washington st.in BSL where I lived as a child and the local piers where I fished for fall redfish and speckled trout are all but a memory now, as are most all the other beautiful unique charms of devastated coastline. I've been gone 5 years now, and my heart goes out to everyone there. Our family and friends recovered from a few big storms but never anything on this tragic scale. Good Luck and our donations will keep coming.

One of my favorite vacation spots... Biloxi and Gulfport,MS. My daughter was stationed at Keesler. I was there just a few months before "the storm". I look at my pictures and movies," my memories", knowing it will never be the same in the near future..and I cry for those who have lost a "lifetime" of memories.
Hoosiers mourn your great loss and pray for recovery for the great loss of so many.

God Bless all on the Gulf Coast, especially those who may be forgotten in BSL and Waveland. My daughter and I are going to BSL on the 14th of December, our second visit. We love you all and our hearts ache for you.

It is heart warming to see so many people helping people in time of need....MAY THE LORD BE WITH YOU AND KEEP YOU .

Lin of SC asked what else she and the American people could do to help---as a native and current resident of New Orleans, of monumental importance to us right now is receiving funding to fix our levees and bring them up to Cat 5 protection levels, but congress doesn't seem to want to spend the money. Write, call, plead with your congress men and women to approve the funding. Our survival literally depends on it. Thank you from me and my family to all of the American people for your help, for leaving your families or bringing them down here with you to help us recover, for keeping us in your thoughts and for your prayers. We have survived thus far and will continue to survive because of your support.

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