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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.

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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."

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214 COMMENTS

After Wilma hit here in South Florida there were, for a time, no BANKS - or much of anything else. For me, a once-in-a-lifetime confluence of a stock sale, an almost-empty checking account, a weekend, the first of the month, and a hurricane left me on the short end. My mortgage lender, via an 800 number, offered me the 3 months of grace; absent it, even though I had ample funds, would have meant a late payment. Sure, there were banks open several hours' drive away, but, there were no gas stations, no gas to buy, no expectation that we could refill our empty tanks: no way to get there-and back. With live electric wires lying here and there, and no traffic lights, or street lights it was dangerous to drive; the authorities asked us not to. We tried the local banks (all shut), called local phone numbers (all rang unanswered), heated everything on the grill(until the propane ran out), went to the grocery store (no refrigeration: no milk, cheese, meat, etc.) by bicycle, took cold showers, cut up trees, dragged vegitation to the curb, and waited for electric company crews. Fortunately, my old-fashioned phone worked, and my roof didn't blow off, nor my car flood, or members of my family die. For us, it was only 3 weeks before services came available (electricity, and with it air conditioning, banks, food stores, gas stations, hot water, rube-goldberg traffic lights: turning left is still an adventure!) and life got back to a semblance of normal. I shudder to think of the challenges mounting up in the gulf coast. Please, be gracious . . . capitalism may be the best system we have, but basic kindness, decency, empathy, & compassion fit in too. So I say, Thank you, banker.

While I can appreciate an earlier blogger's heartfelt appeal not to turn our backs on the Katrina victims, she has her facts wrong about our nation's history. The government has not always provided aid to victims of a natural disaster.

On February 16, 1887, president Grover Cleveland vetoed a bill that would have approriated money to aid drought-stricken farmers in Texas. These were his words:

"I find no warrant for such an appropriation in the Constitution, and I do not believe that the power and the duty of the General Government ought to be extended to the relief of individual suffering which is in no manner properly related to the public service or benefit. A prevailing tendency to disregard the limited mission of this power and duty should, I think, be steadfastly resisted, to the end that the lesson should be constantly enforced that though the people support the Government the Government should not support the people.

The friendliness and charity of our countrymen can always be relied upon to relieve their fellow-citizens in misfortune. This has been repeatedly and quite lately demonstrated. Federal aid in such cases encourages the expectation of paternal care on the part of the Government and weakens the sturdiness of our national character, while it prevents the indulgence among our people of that kindly sentiment and conduct which strengthens the bonds of a common brotherhood."

So I say yes to private charity, free enterprise, and individual as the best ways to deal with disasters. And no, I won't be petitioning my congressman to steal even more of my money, even if it's for a good cause.

Some people do not have any options of what they can do with there house and lives. They have none. Yet with everything gone still they must have food and a place to live. What the people need is 6 more months to recover. Give people some hope and they will rebuild their lives and their city that they are still proud of. The biggest problem is money people want their money regardless of what has happened. This is where it ends greed and control by just a few rule our world. But it sure seems funny that during the raging waters where you stood money ment nothing and your life and the lives of others is all that mattered. We need to find a way to give life to the land and people in it. A man will protect his dieing horse from his enemies with his life. Can we find the seeds of living and give to those in need and they will plant a new life giving world around themselves and go forward as they will proudly say. We have done so much with so little we can do the impossible with nothing we just need time and a helping hand to complete our lives.

They're banks people, remember? These are the same friendly folks who threw parents and children out of homes in the 20's.

Under their slick marketing bliss, they are still usury-lending thieves.

I am realy getting tired of all of this blaming of the government its too little too late. Yes it may be but remember this if one chooses to live below sea leval expect to get wet, one must prepare read what you are signing (I had no idea I was not covered) is no excuse for preparation.Everyone needs help now and than and these people need help now but there is way too many of them thinking of themseves instead of the big picture it is not just a house that needs rebuilt but a community and the system that protects it and makes it work. What I have seen and read the spirit of these people is very strong and most seem willing to go on great but these people must band together pull what resources there are and repair.I am sorry I seem cold and non caring I am not I just don't like the government in my business any more than they have to well I am going to stop there.

The fact of the matter is that Insurance companies are purposefully dragging their feet on paying claims they should by contract. We have a friend who is a adjuster sent down here from Wisconsin who is a member of 1 of the biggest Insurance company who was told from doing 2 claims per day to do just 1.Its just a wait game for them to see what washes out and who will default and who get funds from the Federal Government.
Secondly, comments made about not rebuilding New Orleans because it below sea level are very narrow minded. Take a look at your map and see where the mighty Mississippi River runs to. It starts in Louisiana at the Gulf. Shipping is needed through here and as a truck driver I can tell you, America wherever you are, receives or ships somewhere out of this port. Its huge and will be getting bigger.If the notion of not rebuilding was based soley on below sea level, then I would say it would be ludicrius to rebuild areas of California when it people know of the dangers of earthquakes and the what the future hold for that state.
Thirdly, the media has blown this thing so far out of perportion to keep it in the headlines. When the 4 or 5 hurricanes hit and tore up Florida a ouple years back..you didn't get all the onesided crap you have now. It all started with the unfortunate being left stuck in the dome and convention center. I'm from New Orleans. Alot folks got out but they been living their too long and didn't take the warning to get out. The local government ( a business owner with no record of experience voted to mayor) and state ( a governor whom finding out was not in control)failed to act and also the feds ( too busy whats for lunch). Its a finger pointing game again. THe city would of been fine but the levees failed. I'm from Westbank Jeff Parish and lived on River Road. All the levees facing the river for YEARS have been concreted. Why haven't the ones on the 17th street canal I don't know. But polictians and media quick to point out they didn't get what they wanted from Bush and quick to blame him. I think but not for certain they 60 million but what they did with it was on other projects not what they threat was. Again its all around blame and they got caught and the poor people of New Orleans whether rich or poor or getting the shaft.

Mortgage companies make you have the home insured,,and they are first in line to be paid,,,so why are they pressing these homeowners and not the insurance companies. The premiums were paid,,,,,,,,,I would WALK and tell them to stick where the sun dont shine. Banks, credit card companies and insurance companies all want our money with sweet cozy commercials,,,but in truth most of them are legalized loan sharks and crooks. I SAY SCREW them whenever you have to.

I live in Florida and my home/livelyhood was damaged by not one, but two hurricanes. The government owes me a new house, a new big screen TV, a new car, a new job, and the ability to stop the next hurricane that I'm entitled to just because it's the government. The government owes the people life, liberty and the pursuit of hapiness - not a guaranteed handout for not having proper insurance. The government should ensure that the legal system (Bankruptcy court, suing the bank/insurance company for improper tactics, etc.) will sort out what is really "ours". If you live in a hurricane/flood area - get proper insurance. If you can't afford to get it, then move. If you move to an earthquake zone - make sure you have adequate earthquake insurance. It's a terrible tragedy, but the blame game and the government owes me "just because" has to stop.

WHY IS NOBODY SEEING THIS LOGICALLY-THE OCEANS WILL RISE(THEY ALREADY ARE)-UNLESS THERE IS SOME KIND OF MAGIC THAT WE ALL DON'T KNOW ABOUT(NEW ORLEANS WILL SINK 20 FEET OR MORE BELOW SEA LEVEL IN THE FUTURE). QUESTIONS ANYONE?????????????????????????????????????DUH!!!!!!!!!

After reading this article and the comments made by many people around the states it appears most of us agree action needs to be taken. Instead of sitting her and writing your thoughts or giving suggestions on what needs to be done, why not divert that same energy and time to actually doing something about the issues?

Personally, I've contributed both time and money to the cause of rebuilding; furthermore, have additional plans to provide time and money to individuals needing additional support to rebuild their lives.

We live in a country that has overcome some huge obstacles in its history. Does anyone think about how America survived BEFORE insurance companies and politicians ruled the headlines? Americans simply put their hands and hearts together and worked to get through the difficult times. It happened during each war our country has been involved in. America banded together to recover from the Great Depression, and even when President Kennedy was shot (and he was just one person!). Why is this situation any different?

The commentary of respondents to this article is something I truly appreciate. It allows me to understand many differing opinions so that I can better understand my own.

I am not appreciative of the time many of us decide to spend bashing the media, government officials, insurance companies or any other stakeholder relating to the hurricanes a few months ago.

Plainly spoken, it takes lots of hard and devoted work to restore lives. Whether we all agree New Orleans should be rebuilt or not isn't the issue. The real issue is whether or not enough Americans will stop debating over someone else's fate and take action to help these people restore their lives.

I could not imagine what people in the region are going through in their lives. The Federal, State and Local governments should forgive all loans in turn we do NOT rebuild the city. The area should be turned into a watershed and park lands. Just like homes on barrier islands - once they are destroyed by storms that's it no more re-building.

The good folks in New Orleans who suffered from Katrina who are a part of the United States as citizens who have paid taxes that have been spent in a collective across the United States in the past and in the future who chose to live in the area they chose are now being told that they "live in the wrong place and are on their own". Hmmmm, United States.....If I choose to agree on the points beforementioned, then I must request that the good folks in California who live on the St Andreas Fault and the good folks in Oklahoma who knowing live in "tornado alley" and don't forget the good folks in New York City who live in an area of high rize buildings subject to terrorist attacks must also begin to realize the stupidity of their decision and must suffer the consequence of being so stupid to live where they do. I look forward to the increased population migration to neighboring "safe" places so as to avoid any responsibility of those who were fortunate enough to live in the "right places in the United States". Long live that "I'm OK Jack" mentality.

There but by the grace of God, go I. My heart-felt sympathies to those suffering.

First, my deepest sympathies go to those hurricane victims who today feel abandoned and without hope. It is a tragic feeling to be in the situation described by an earlier writer, Margie. However, my fellow citizens (and I use this term to remind us that eventually we are all linked together), we must react in a manner that is consistent with our ideals and a prudent course for the future. We Americans, as the privileged few to be living in the greatest country in the world, cannot expect the other countries of the world to rush to our aid (as one writer suggested). One of the responsibilities of a "super power" is to be able to manage ones own affairs. Our government did not bail out the Japanese a few years ago when their large city of Kobe was nearly totally destroyed by a major earthquake ... nor did they expect it. Similarly, when The Netherlands was disastrously flooded, it was not the money of the developed world that came to the rescue, it was Dutch gilders. While we have a heart to help the underprivileged (i.e Sunami) we do not provide assistance with any reciprosity expected. So, let's stop being mad at the world!
Next, let's look at the role and obligations of the National government. Other than some exceptions in the last 20 years (bad exceptions which will cause us unmeasured grief) we Americans have not relied on the government to bail us out of personal misfortune. The timely quote of President Cleveland provided by Kevin (I urge thoughtful readers to re-read it) summarizes the historical American response to disasters ... governments take care of the infrastructure and public sector, and people take care of people through charitable giving and kindness. So, other than proven incompetence which should be addressed at the ballot box, let's stop being mad at the government.
On to bankers, insurance companies, and the like. We are extremely privileged to be one of only a few countries in the world to have ready access to insurance and fincial loans. It is this access to capital, at extremely low interest rates, that allows us to enjoy the highest rate of home ownership in our history and the history of the world. It is a functioning insurance industry that allows us to withstand covered catastrophes without financial ruin. But, necessarily, both loans and insurance policies have written contracts and conditions. These contracts are not "evil", they are the very essence of the reason other people are willing to invest their hard-earned money in banks and insurance companies. The loans we decide not to payback is in fact the retirement funds of some widow up in New Hampshire (worst case, I know, but point made). We collectively provide capital to each other based on the expectation that we will get back our principal and make a return on our investment. That is how it works and we need to read our contracts. I have no sympathy for CEOs who break the law, but, we cannot call worthy businessmen "Fat Cats" just for expecting agreements to be kept and hoping to make a profit. So, let's stop bashing the Insurance industry and the banks (not defending any proven crooks, if there are any!).
As a survivor of Hurricane Andrew, house severley damaged, 5 weeks without power, livelihood threatened, plans disrupted, and attacked by despair ... let me assure the people of the Gulf Coast that there will be a brighter tomorrow. Keep the faith, be thankful for the assistance others provide you, and recognize that the government has no obligation to "make everything come out all right"
You live in a country that makes it easier than any other country in the world to start over, make a comeback, try something new, and become a great success in a new way. Be thankful for the assistance you receive on your journey (and my prediction is that you will receive much) and 10 years from now you will look back with pride at how much you have overcome and how much you have grown from the experience. You will continue to have my best wishes and financial support (that I have given and will continue to provide). God bless you.

Incredible how insurance companies can collect all of their fees and then refuse to honor their own contractual obligations. But with an army of lobbyists lining the pockets of those on Capital Hill, it is extremely naive to think that they would pay up. Ranting on about morals and how we are all americans and should come together is the drumbeat of the naives. America today is about one thing and one thing ONLY: the dollar. Don't listen to this idiotic banter about america the great, we the people, let's have a big heart, yada yada yada.

Walk away from your slab, sue the insurance company from multiple angles to get your money, then you will have a nice chunk of change to put down on a new home despite your foreclosure and to hell with the banker and the insurance company, the banker knows damn well it's the insurance company execs forcing you to do this, let those execs deal with the ins. execs. Take a page from the businesses trying to screw you: Take care of number 1 and screw the rest. If you need some motivation, just look up and find out how much their pay and bonuses are; it is directly tied to profitability which is directly linked to their ability to pull your pants down and bend you over.

Don't even get me started about taking care of our own here in the US. But, there's something many people don't know about cutting and running on a mortgage. You have to pay income tax on the amount of debt that's forgiven. So, when you think you're walking away from it you only walk into the hands of the IRS who never give up. Check with an attorney before you make your decision....

Let "our" government go represent the people of almost every other country on earth, because they certainly are not representing the taxpayers. It is abominable that people actually pay premiums expecting to be compensated after a tragedy and their insurance company tells them to go pound salt. AND OUR REPRESNETATIVES DO NOTHING ABOUT IT! It makes me sick to my stomach. They worry too much about an electioln in Iraq when we have people living on the streets that should have collected an insurance check to rebuild their lives.

This all amazes me. I live on the water on Long Island, another area due for a devastating hurricane. The first point of note is that my homeowners insurance has been going down! I keep expecting it to go up due to risk, but it goes down. Maybe the insurance companies figure they can then cry bankruptcy. Who knows. Congress does need to hold them to their obligations. I pay home owners and flood insurance and my mortgage compay accepts them. I think part of the problem may be that the home owners and flood policies only insure the structure. In the case of my home, the structure is worth 1/4 of the total value (land is rest). My mortgage is more than double my policy limit, but they will not write it for more since the land will throretically remain. BTW since New Orleans is getting 31 billion to rebuild the levies, do we finally get the 4 billion to fix erosion on Fire Island. Same problem, different place on the time line.

A few seeds for thought... California has for years and years had mud slides, remember last summer? Kansas is infamous for tornadoes, Alaska and states in the extreme north have their issues with extreme cold weather, blizzards and the like. Rivers everywhere flood even the mighty Mississippi!!
That being said, Florida and the Gulf Coast residents pay a premium for insurance much more than most anywhere I’d imagine (assuming one can buy it at any price right now). Where will the folks in the
rest of the country get their oil, seafood, Orange Juice and a whole list of other commodities should the good folks of the Gulf Coast say we’re scared
and run off to Kansas for example. It's not if people should live in the Gulf Coast, the rest of the country depends on most of us who live in the gulf states. So before you warn us all to move may I suggest you go a month or two without electric power since we (Gulf States) provide most of the natural gas that powers a good percentage of the nation’s electricity. Refrain from eating Seafood, Forget about your kids getting their daily orange juice. Like California, Kansas, Idaho, Maine, Tennessee, Alaska and even Las Vegas we all regardless of where we live contribute to the country as a whole. We are
very much inter-dependent at almost every level. So I understand the feelings involved but like everywhere else where ever they may live at some point in time disaster has struck, us folks on the Gulf Coast have had a tough few years, sure some will cut and run and with good reason in many cases, but lets not discourage the folks who brave the danger and understand that life is full of risks and perils. Each occupation and state must face them with courage and steadfastness not only for the benefit of themselves but for the well being of the entire country. I feel for the folks who are fighting the insurance companies, I'm sure big adjustments are in the works, oh, since I live in Florida I'm already feeling those adjustments $$$. The folks who didn't buy flood insurance when they knew they lived in a bowl with water above them confounds me. Do I feel sorry for them? Absolutely. Do I question the wisdom of living in a coastal area where there is a big threat of flooding (especially in New Orleans) and not carrying both Flood and Wind protection? ABSOLUTELY. Is the coverage expensive? Not as expensive as the price being paid now but surely not cheap. Are there some shady insurance companies who either can't because of bad management or what ever are screwing good folks over? I'm certain of it. Solution... sorry I'm not that smart. But I do believe better laws and regulation of the insurance/banking industry could help but the government writing checks enabling politicians to say this many billions of dollars was appropriated with their name on it for political reasons is NOT the answer. The private sector can do most of the work if the rules and regulations are set appropriately. Surely there are some really smart people out there who know how to make the systems better without killing the industry or stiffling it with excessive government bearuracy. (FEMA was a good example of how not to operate).

Yes I also think Marge hit it right on the nail head. But no-one knos the horrible feeling of being without a home no food stores and alot of people without a transportation to go anywhere for help and also the fear of the Dr's leaving the area also. Our house left the property and was bull dozed down so now we have nothing, we are very thankful for a Fema trailer but there is nothing like having your own home. We are both in bad health and we had no insurance on our home, fema has helped us some and I give them credit for what they have done but my scare is what are we going to do in 18 months when they take these trailers away from us and we don't have another place to live.All any of us can do is pray and keep faith that is what is going to get us through this.And I would like to also thank all of the people that came here to help us my heart goes out to all of them, God Bless!

I live in Southeastern Virginia where there is a constant threat of hurricanes. Looks like I better have a Plan B and not totally depend on my insurance carrier if a hurricane comes this way.

Thanks to Margie for speaking so truthfully. I myself used to live near the Gulf coast and I am SO glad I don't anymore. However, what everyone needs to keep in mind is that catastrophic situations can occur anywhere, at any time. Hurricanes aren't the only terrible things that can happen. Tornadoes, earthquakes, and floods are always lurking in the future. And fires destroy lives and property every day. The moral of the story?? NO ONE IS SAFE. If you're still alive, count your blessings, lest you become the next victim of a disaster.

David from Charlotte,

I understand your point of view, but at what point do you throw in the towel and give up. Beach erosion happens over time. Icebergs melt due to global warming. We have the tech. and power to do something about it. Would you give up on the Outer Banks or Mytle Beach? Maybe Charleston? I bet not. Besides, we're talking about MS which sits above sea level, not New Orleans. Although I would say the same for N.O. Katrina wiped out a ton of marsh land already. What happens after you give up on N.O. and lose it. What's the next piece of land to be sacificed?

First, to Barbara of Salt Lake, Marco lives in Mississippi, not New Orleans, as the map indicates. Second, to Marco, wherever you are, you have friends in Hattiesburg. Call Marcia (Thompson) Hartwig at 601-264-2959 or Ed and Susan Jackson, number at information. Can we help?

No again the problem is the Insurance companies dragging around saying that they won't pay until its solved..The levees failed in New Orleans and caused the amount of damaged was it or Hurricane damaged that caused it?? FORCED water I.E.Flood ??Whose libel for that and who do the insurance companies and lawyers Sue??One is Federal Insurance and the other is not. Either way is chosen..it ain't gonna be for awhile till its figured out. The only people making right now is the huge money the insurance companies are making off interest on what their NOT giving out. States and Feds should be sueing the crap outta the insurance compaies to start coughing up the monies.

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