What is this?

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.

Map of Southeaster United States

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.

Click here for bios of the reporters and media producers who have worked on the series.

How you can help

RSS 

Get the latest stories, journal entries and images via RSS subscription.

BAY ST. LOUIS, Miss. -- Marco Giardino is on the bubble. Hurricane Katrina left him with $1,525 monthly payments for a $400,000 home that is now little more than a shredded shell. "I'm thinking of walking away from it," he says.

The day before Hurricane Katrina hit, he was sitting on $300,000 in home equity. It was his nest egg; it was his future. "I was sitting pretty," recalls the 55-year-old NASA employee. "I lost all my wealth overnight.

Marco Giardino salvaging building materials from his destroyed home in hope to reuse it in the future, click ‘Play’ to hear about his concerns with rebuilding his home.

Now he's facing the prospect of paying a good portion of his income for what amounts to little more than a debris pile. Adding to pressure, Giardino's insurance company has offered him "not one red cent," on his main homeowner's policy he says, punching each word like it was a separate sentence.  He also had additional coverage for wind damage, but his insurance company is saying it will only pay 50 percent on the policy, "which leaves me $60,000 short of the bank," he says.

Bankers say they have no idea how many homeowners will abandon their badly damaged or destroyed homes and properties in the Gulf Coast region, but they are bracing for the possibility of a tidal wave of foreclosures in the coming months. Those without insurance or who underinsured their properties are seen as far more likely to walk away from their investment and leave the banks to pick up the pieces.

Giardino and other homeowners throughout this battered region affected by Hurricane Katrina have had some breathing room, thanks to an agreement among lenders to suspend their payments for 90 days with no penalties. But that grace period is now ending and thousands of homeowners around the Gulf Coast are facing the same unappealing choices as Giardino: continue paying for an uninhabitable home -- or, in many cases, nothing more than concrete slabs -- or walk away and let the banks foreclose on their property.

Although "abandoning the place and letting it go into foreclosure is an option," Giardino says it's more likely that he will sell the lot for whatever he can get for it and borrow from relatives to pay off the remainder of his loan. Then he can examine his housing options in an area where he has strong ties and many reasons to stay.

Across the street from Giardino lives Nate Cranmer, 26, an unemployed welder who worked in New Orleans before the hurricane. Now he cuts trees when he can to make some money.

Cranmer's FEMA trailer sits in front of the house that he moved into four months before Katrina hit and which was literally pancaked by the storm. Unlike his neighbor, Cranmer's insurance has already paid him off, and he's sitting on $70,000 that he can use to rebuild.

Cranmer took advantage of the 90-day payment deferment, but says his mortgage company now wants him to pay those three missed months plus pay his regular $800 bill for December in one check. Despite the disaster zone that used to be his house, Cranmer says it's never entered his mind to walk away.

"But one of my neighbors walked away, totally," he says. "They left before the storm, they came back, checked it out but just don't have the money to rebuild so they're just leaving, the whole family."

Repayment rules vary

The 90-day grace period offered by lenders wasn't the result of a government mandate, and because of that lenders offered the three-month payment deferment on a wide range of terms. Some, like Cranmer's lender, whom he didn't identify, are asking homeowners to pay up all at once. Others are providing a range of options to their customers.

Giardino's lender, Countrywide, "was very generous" and offered him a variety of repayment options, he says. So far, he has chosen to simply tack the repayment onto the back end of his original loan.

Several homeowners MSNBC talked to said they were offered the deferment but elected to keep up with their payments anyway.

"Eventually we were going to have to make up those payments ... and we didn't want to put ourselves in that position," says E.J. Toomey, a NASA accountant whose home was being overrun by volunteers from the relief army of the "Eight Days of Hope" campaign, who were helping repair his roof.

The lack of standards for implementing the 90-day grace period adds to the problems facing homeowners, says Mike Shea, executive director for Acorn Housing Corp., a nonprofit that offers free housing counseling to low- and moderate-income homeowners.

"The result is confusion for already-stressed homeowners," Shea says. Now that the original 90-day period is over, you have some lenders that are offering an additional 90-day extension that will last through February. But in order to receive that extension, he says, some lenders are making homeowners sign papers agreeing to make a lump payment in March, a practice he labeled "predatory lending."

"You can't make people come up with a lump sum payment, that's our position and most responsible lenders understand that," he says.

Shea says most major lenders are trying to work with people, accepting partial payments and otherwise demonstrating flexibility in ways they haven't traditionally shown. "Then the question is, 'What do you do with the unpaid payments?'" Responsible lenders are saying they'll shift them to the "back end" of the loan or spread it over the life of the loan, he says.

In everyone's best interest

Washington Mutual, which services about 48,000 loans in the states hit by Katrina, gave each affected homeowner an automatic 90-day grace period when Katrina hit, says Nova Barnett, a company spokeswoman. Along with the 90-day suspension of payments, the company agreed not to issue any negative credit reports as a result of missed payments during that period, she says.

"Based on our analysis on December 1st, along with many other major lenders, we decided to automatically extend the initial 90-day forbearance for another 90 days," Barnett says.

The company hasn't yet worked out a plan for what will happen when it comes time for borrowers to resume repayment in March. "However, we won't make them pay it all at one time," she says. "We will work with each one on a case-by-case basis."

Banks have an interest in working with borrowers because they don't want to get into the foreclosure business, says Mac Deaver, president of the Mississippi Bankers Association.

"The biggest thing for our members is the overall economic impact on the community,"  he says. "They want to make sure the economy is going again and people are back in their homes and rebuilding. The livelihoods of our banks are tied to these communities. If the community isn't working, if the infrastructure isn't there and people can't make a living and make their payments then the banks can't survive either."

The federal government also has stepped into the act.

HUD helping 20,000

The Department of Housing and Urban Development has agreed to pay mortgage payments for an entire year for some 20,0000 Katrina victims holding federally insured loans. One hitch: The houses have to be repairable, HUD says.

Keesler Federal Credit Union says about 1,400 of its members in Katrina-hit areas took advantage of the 90-day grace period on their mortgages. Those suspended payments will be added to the back of the loan, says Nat Hebert, vice president of lending.

"If someone is still in a tough spot after having taken that initial 90-day suspension offer, we’re working with them on a case-by-case basis and it’s possible they can get another 90-day deferment," she says. "This is just the humane way of doing business. I can’t imagine making our members make up the payments in one lump sum."

Hebert says she has had a couple of people come in and tell her that they're afraid they'll have to walk away from their loans -- and their investment in their home. That decision depends on how swiftly other financial help comes to them, be that insurance or FEMA or the federal government, she says.

"It's kind of early ... to figure out what the end result will be, too early in the game to say what we'll do with foreclosures," she says. "There are too many variables; still too many unanswered questions to formulate a comprehensive action plan."

MAIN PAGE NEXT POST Fast food bidding war

Email this EMAIL THIS

214 COMMENTS

Put the CEO's and the board of directors in jail and you will get results. AND, don't wait for 3 years like what they are doing with Ken Lay. Do it now and these policies will be paid off. It is time for vigilianti force.

It is totally unreasonable for a lending institution to give hurricane victims a 90-day grace period on their loan payments, and then expect them to make up those payments all at once at the end of the grace period. Tacking the make-up payments to the end of the loan's duration is not too bad. However, a truely humanitarian lender would eat the make-up payments for the grace period, and allow the hurricane victims to take up their payments that are due after the grace period. I realize that this mean considerable losses for the lending institution, but, it will be worth it in the long run, in that it will build goodwill, which will in turn result in increased business for the lender.

I think that the Lenders should sue the Insurance Co's to get their money. The homeowners pay each month a large chunk thinking that they're insured...and secure...only to find out that they're not...

Did I miss something? I have always considered an insurance policy to be a contract...a binding contract between two parties. Mr. Giardino's carrier arbitrarily and, I would assume, unilateraly, decides to pay him for half his loss? That's incredible!

Good luck, Mr. Giardino...God Bless You!

This is good. This is the tip of the iceberg of what needs to be talked about. The picture you paint is a little more optimistic than I suspect is likely, but I applaud this well-researched lengthier blog entry.

The battle is not won however for people who are able to work out a reasonable payment arrangement that avoids a lump-sum payment for the deferred months. They are still paying a mortgage on a home that doesn't exist, and in order to rebuild, they'll have to take out a second loan of a similar amount, and all these thousands of people, probably a majority of the homeowners along the entire coast, will end up owing twice as much as their home's value.

2006 is forecast to be another busy hurricane season. All these people who are going to rebuild, but will owe up to twice the value of their homes, will not be able to recover from another hurricane surge. Even if another hurricane never comes, they still may not be able to recover, as things stand.

That is why federal hurricane disaster aid targeted to those who were not covered by insurance (because the federal government told them they were not required to have it), is so critical.

There were some posts on the recent blog entry that were very unsympathetic to people living in the disaster area, and if you think the government shouldn't pay disaster monies, consider this scenario.

How many miles of public roads do you travel on every day? How about bridges? Do you need to go across a bridge just to get to work? Ok, imagine those roads were ripped up due to a natural disaster. The bridge? It's gone; now you'll have to drive 50 miles out of your way. Imagine that your home, and most of the homes around you, were destroyed. You no longer have sewer service, cannot drink your tap water, no gas to run your hot water heater, if you have one. Imagine afterwards that you have no convenient local groceries, banks, drugstores, gas stations, restaurants, day care centers, dentists, doctors offices, much less movie theatres, bookstores, any place to socialize. Traffic is always tied up on the few remaining roads that are available. It takes twice as long to get anywhere. You have to drive very far away to pick up groceries, so when you get there, like everyone else, you stock up on a couple week's worth. Long checkout lines. This makes the trip for groceries take about five times as long as it normally would. Since you don't have a fridge or stove, the type of food you buy isn't what you're used to.

Oh, and you don't have street lights, and your police station and fire station are gone, as are the vehicles. There isn't any county or city buildings left, or if they're left, they're condemned because they were flooded. And there's virtually no tax base left, so those local and county governments are bankrupt, as are the school districts.

Everything around you that you can see is destroyed. Trees and bushes are brown from the salt water. Everything else seems to be grey. There is no color from buildings, because hardly any are left. All the local landmarks are gone, and in its place, still debris, everywhere. This is what you have to look at, every day, for miles and miles.

The daily routine that you're used to? Doesn't exist. Every day is a struggle for survival.

There is an endless confusing regime of paperwork, phone calls, meetings with government agencies and insurance adjusters, and months later things are still not resolved.

Or, even worse, you can't get work because your place of employment doesn't exist anymore. The only work that is available now is a low-paying job your teenager used to do, or something you have no skills for.

And your children. They started going back to school, but they don't have the materials and books they'd normally have, and once "home" they really have no place to play. You want their lives to be as normal as possible, but normal doesn't exist anymore.

This is how you've been living for almost four months now.

Not to mention, you spent a harrowing day experiencing a terrifying natural disaster, and perhaps you almost lost your life. Everything around you that is familiar has been ripped away, including all or most of your personal belongings, any special things you might have had. Across the street was a dead body. It was someone you knew. You've been through an emotional ordeal that is difficult to recover from.

Take some moments and imagine your own community in that situation. Not someplace far away, but where you live, your community, your home, living like that.

And it isn't just your community. It's all the communities around yours as well. In fact there isn't any place within driving distance that's normal, that's untouched by disaster. By now, you can't even remember what normal looks like.

You're perfectly happy with the federal government turning its back on you? With the rest of the nation saying they don't think their tax money should be spent to help you, that suddenly, for the first time in our nation's history, the government should not aid victims of a natural disater? That surely by now you should stop slumming and taking those handouts? Somehow your community should figure out how to move forward, with no income to do so?

Remember this line from "To Kill a Mockingbird?"

Just standing on the Radley porch was enough.

Go stand on the Radley porch.

It's the season of giving. Take the time to contact your congressional representatives and say that you hope they'll expedite Katrina aid. Take the time to do something yourself. Don't kick someone when they're down; offer a helping hand. The flow of help to the victims of Katrina should not stop until everyone is able to get back on their feet, and that's gonna take a lot longer than a couple of months.

Margie says it all. Good job.
Let me tell you a true story. I am not a victim of the hurricanes; I live in the NW. When the 9/11 attacks put the airlines in the toilet, I was laid off from my job after 13 years (airplane mfg.) I looked for a job for 3 months and found nothing. I went back to school on benefits the State and my employer provided and worked hard. Graduated with a 3.67 with a major my Unemployment counselor told me would be "hot" just about the time I graduated. It took me over a year to find work and on the day my 6 months probation ended I was laid off, again. That was 6 months ago and I'm still looking. When you are 55, it is harder. Last year my husband became ill and could not work for awhile. We did ok with savings and yard sales, but after about 7 months of little money coming in, we became 2 (that is TWO) mortgage payment behind. I was contacting the company and emailing them all the time to let them know what was happening, when we expected funds, and how things were going. Finally my husband finished his first job after being ill (he's a contractor) and we have enough money to make the back payment and the next 2, plus all the other bills as well. I called the mortgage company intending to do a check by phone to show them we did tell them the truth. I was told not to give them any money because if I did it would be returned. They were forclosing on the property - over 2 late payments with me telling them, "But do you understand I can pay those payments plus the current payment today?" It did not matter to them. They filed. So the only recourse we could do was file a Chapter 13 bankruptcy. By the time we got to court, we were 5 months behind and even the court did not believe they had filed over 2 payments. I wonder if it could be our area was recently rezoned and we are zoned for both residential and commerical? There are a lot of businesses going up around us and our place would be the perfect spot to add a store, and it would generate a lot of money.

The morale of this story is that few if any mortgage company will truely help. If we are going through this 2,000 miles away; I shutter to think what the victims of Katrina and Rita are going through. I was born and raised in the South, right on the coast line in Texas so I know what a hurricane and flooding can do. My heart goes out to them. Isn't it funny that after all the aid we sent to other countries, we have not heard of one offer of help to rebuild New Orleans from overseas? Where are our so-called allies? If memory serves, America has always been one of the first in and last out when diaster strikes.

To our Service Men and Women: Have a safe Holiday. I pray for your safe return to your loved ones.


Phoebe

Margie pretty much said it all but take into consideration this if you will. At the same time the insurance companies are refusing to pay and the government is refusing to help they are using our tax money to rebuild another country. I never thought I would ever be one of those on the 'quit spending our money elsewhere' bandwagon, but I look at my roof that still needs repair and the trees that still litter my yard and I'm ticked off. Myself and many others worked bery hard for the money they are spending elsewhere and now that I need help I was told, by FEMA, too bad. This is the same country that told my son and his friends this was the greatest country in the world come serve with us. My son is now a disabled vet with 50 percent of his family homeless and jobless, some of them quite elderly, and some of his friends came home in bodybags. At least they don't have to witness their governments betrayal.

I have purchased a big hurricane policy and paid on it all my life,Noe Allstate is not paying me anything. In fact we have been hanging with no info for three months.Our agent won't talk to us. Now they offer us only about $5.000. This is a joke.

In a majority of situations, lending institutions, such as Washington Mutual, merely act as a servicer for the loan; which means that they collect the mortgage payment and send the payment to the owner of the loan, and retain a fee for servicing. The owner of the loan may be institutions like Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, an insurance company, or a pension fund. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are goverment sponsored enterprises that provide huge amounts of capital that are used to purchase loans in the secondary market. I wonder what Fannie and Freddie's position is regarding these payment deferrments?

Thanks Margie, you've told the story of what we see and feel. There are really no words to capture the desolation of mind and spirit, but you have captured the daily grunge of exisitng in Katrinaland

Walk away.
Move away.
Leave.
Cut and run.
Get a bankrupcty attorney fast.
Start anew.
Invest your time in your future.
Avoid the slab mortgage.
Take a breath of fresh air.
Let the foreclosure people do the paperwork.
Have a nice future.
Life is for the living.
Do not haul the garbage away.
Be like a spider and build a new nest.
Don't forget to go to church.

THANK YOU, MARGIE, for your post! You hit the nail on the head. Everyone in America needs to stop and THINK about what they are saying and thinking about this horrible situation. We need to get off our duffs and DO SOMETHING, ANYTHING, to help. I just got my Christmas bonus and am sending it directly to Camp Coast Care in Long Beach, MS, to support the efforts of Lutheran Episcopal Disaster Relief along the Gulf Coast. I am sure that, with a very small amount of effort, everyone can find somewhere to send contributions directly to some organization that is helping. I would hope that some who are very generous and physically and financially able would lend their hands to help - in other words, volunteer for a few days, or weeks, or as my daughter's friend is doing, volunteer "for the long haul". There are many faith based and private organizations that have been helping from day one and are continuing to help. I prefer to donate to those organizations because I know the money will skip "administration fees" and go directly to buy food or medical supplies or shovels or bleach or dry wall etc. etc. etc. Come on, America, we all need to pitch in here and help instead of complaining!! Thank you, Margie, thank you, thank you!

Those affected by Katrina are, indeed, in need of and entitled to assistence - both from the Federal Gov't and whatever "Insurance" they had been paying for. This does NOT - In My opinion - mean that things in the devastated areas of the Gulf Coast should be returned to "normal", or Pre-Katrina conditions.
To quote: Those who ignore history are doomed to repeat it.
Hurricanes have ravaged the South and Southeast coasts of the U.S. before this, they will do so again. Anyone who willingly chooses to live or remain living in these areas does so with the threat of such a disaster always present. Sooner or later it WILL happen again. Should those of us who choose NOT to live in these areas somehow be responsible for helping those who Do stay?
Yes, but Only to a certain extent. Those who now stay are, or should be in My opinion, "On their own".
If you want to stay there, fine. We'll get you back on your feet. Next time - next season, or whenever it happens - it's all yours...

My advice - move out. Now.

Just an observation and nothing more...

I find it intesting that the loan companies involved can miss 3 to 6 month's mortgage payments from the vast numbers of people affected and not only remain in business, but thrive. Talk about "Fat Cats"... They must be sitting on a mountain of money.

Thank you Margie. You can't know how bad it is down here until you've stood in it. Your words are encouraging that there are some people out there that understand. I wish we could get every senator and congressperson to come here and view this. We might get their attention if they did.

You must remeber that insurance is there to help for the unexpected. A blanket statement to sue the insurance company is a statement of emotion and haste. Each individual claim is a contract agreement following its course. If you bought a car and something went wrong, would you expect the dealer to pay for it if it was not in the agreement, no.Would you? How many insurance horror stories are a result of owners not understanding their contract. Wisdom and knowledge is gained through learning. Suing the insurance company is not the answer, they are making huge payments and do not forget that some will be finacially stricten by these hurricane.

With one senator already suing his insurance company, it's a wonder a few law firms aren't jumping in on a potentially billion dollar lawsuit againt the insurance companies. Is it enough that congress ok'd a break to the businesses of the affected areas? Its a good start. If the insurance companies are afraid to pay out on the policies owed because they may lose money this year or not make as much or may even go out of business, well sorry. Thats why they are called insurance companies. Thats why we buy insurance. Not to make some fat CEO fatter, but for protection. When it comes time to pay up, they say "Thats too much money, we may go broke." Well people are broke, homeless and in extreme situations. Too many people affected and not enough being done at the levels where only big things CAN happen. Just a few companies making too much money off of the majority of people of this country without giving back to the people who put them in their lofty positions... Just plain sad.

Margie, you have painted a perfect picture of what it is like to live on the MS Gulf Coast at this time. I write this, of course as I look out of my fema trailer window and down the street at all of the other fema trailers that line our street. I am one of the lucky ones. While our neighborhood did flood and no one at this time is able to live in their houses, I know just a few blocks away things are much worse. People have nothing to build back on except a slab. With so many homes gone, and FEMA saying they allow people to stay in the FEMA trailers for 18 months from the date of the storm. I wonder how, even if people did have the money, would all of these homes be replaced in that short amount of time? This picture, I am afraid, is not something that will be going away in 18 months.

I'm Sorry; but I don't believe it is the rest of the country's responsibility to "save" New Orleans. When you build below sea level, it is not a matter of if, it is a matter of when. Did you watch the report on TV where the experts said that in 100 years New Orleans will be an island and 20 feet under sea level? What then?
As far as I am concerned insurance companies are legalized mobsters who have no intention of paying if it as at all possible to get out of it as they proved in New Orleans by saying to damage was caused by the flood, not the hurricane. They knew full well what they were doing when the sold "hurricane" polices in New Orleans. They did not surprise me at all when they announced they would not be paying for flood damage. I sincerely hope those who are sueing the insurance companies win. For their own sakes and for the sake of the rest of the country.
I personally would walk away from anything not salvagable and not have any remorse about leaving the mortgage company holding the bag. It's the price of doing business. While interest rates are reasonable, I remember when they were over 10%. My own mortgage interest rate is very low, yet I will be paying more than double the cost of my home for privilege of owning a home.
My heart goes out to all the Katrina victims, and I'm all for the country footing the bill to help them rebuld their lives, as long as it is not in New Orleans.

Margie - That was such a beautiful blog! It brought tears to my eyes! The Katrina disaster was devestating enough, but to have our government and our nation do nothing (or very little) to help those in need?! I applaud those who have helped so much in the Katrina aid. They are the true heros of our nation.

I fully understand the insurers not paying if in fact the cause of damage wasn't covered under a policy. That's only fair. The premium would have been higher if more contingencies, e.g., the levee system failing, had been covered. Insurers aren't in the charity business. It's unfair for the state to sue them, unless the insurers aren't living up the the true terms of their policies. I'm no fan of insurers, but I think the insured should get what they have a contractual right to and not more. If our society wants to give them more, it should be paid by the taxpayers, federal or local, not by the insurers.

The article mentioned banks going out of business if a large percentage of the mortgage loans aren't repaid. I'm sure the banks will be hurt if the city doesn't come back to life and some bands could go broke, because of that and not defaulted home mortgage loans. Mortgage lenders almost always immediately sell mortgage loans to Freddy Mac or Fannie Mae. Therefore, the risk is spread all over the entire country and internationally to the extent overseas investors buy shares of these combined loans, and New Orleans banks won't take a huge hit on this.

I agree that the best solution for the mortgage deferment is to tag the payments on the back end. That way the homeowner gets a break and the lending institution does not loose anything on it's investment.

As for the homeowners(or lenders whose contract is with a homeowner not a insurance co.) suing their insurance company to get payment. The homeowners are only due what their policy says it will pay. If a homeowner is not responsible enough to know what their insurance will cover and not cover, it is not the goverments job to make up the difference. If my house is underinsured and is destroyed I would not expect anyone to pay me.

As for rebuilding, the government (local, state, federal) is responsible for the infrastructure but not for rebuilding personal property and the government is offering shelter but the vast majority of people are not taking it. We have approx. 220 evacuees from the Miss. gulf coast living at a State Park Campground located in our city. They have been provided the necessities by FEMA and as far as I know, are free to stay for the forseeable future. Everyone of them that I have talked to are happy with the help they have gotten. Above the govt. help, they have been adopted by the community and all of their needs are being met as they come about. They have been given free health care by local doctors, free bank accounts by local banks and almost everything else by other merchants and individuals.

A great big THANK YOU to Margie for saying it exactly like it is. Everything she has described is what we in New Orleans, Waveland, Bay St. Louis and so many other communities in south Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama experience each day. We deal with it not only from the time we wake up until the time we go to bed, but also in our dreams and nightmares when we are asleep. I wish everyone could spend a few moments on the Radley porch.
- Bill S. New Orleans

Thanks, Margie. As one who has been displaced by Katrina, I couldn't have expressed it better myself. My home ,God willing will be repaired. Due to the state takeover of the school system, 7500 employees (teachers,clerical workers, custodians, bus drivers),I have been forced to seek employment in Georgia. Even though my home is liveable, I'm not able to make a living there. I'm paying my mortgage, utilities, etc. there as well rent and utilities here in Georgia.Some folks have been generous and have shown empathy, but you would not believe the cruel comments we've endured as well. The one question that's always asked is "Do you plan on staying here?" or "When do you plan on returning?" If I could just go back to that Friday before the hurricane, leaving my first graders with these words, "See you Monday, have a good weekend!" not knowing I'd probably never see them again as well as my colleagues, Texas and Georgia would not see the likes of me except maybe on a vacation. One day, maybe there lives will be turned completely topsy-turvy. I wonder how they'll handle it. Believe me it's hard, and it can happen.Imagine the holidays, without your family a five minute drive away, my four children are scattered across the US as well as my mother, father, brother and sister. Just put yourself in our shoes. God is testing everyone with katrina.

Margie, What a great description of the situation. Thank you. Another thing to think about is this: I hope and pray that global warming is not increasing the number and severity of the storms, but if it is... The gulf coast is paying for global, particularly US, consumption of greenhouse gasses. They are possibly experiencing the concequences of OUR actions. Shouldn't we all step up to the plate and not only help, but urge that our country do something to address global warming?

Our friends and family on the coast are facing immense obstacles. They and the economy need federal planning and intervention to prevent an even larger catastrophe.

Comments for this post have been closed.

TRACKBACKS

Trackbacks are links to weblogs that reference this post. Like comments, trackbacks do no appear until approved by us. The trackback URL for this post is: http://www.typepad.com/services/trackback/6a00d83451b0aa69e200d834a27ba869e2

More Rising from Ruin

Story tips?