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. – With Christmas nigh, Hancock County is taking a breather.

On the eve of the big day, there’s very little traffic or action on the countless construction jobs. Even the normally packed Wal-Mart and Waffle House are only sparsely populated. Locals are huddling with friends and families in whatever shelter they have, and crews of workers have left the area for the holiday. It is, after all, a Saturday.

Making a bright appearance throughout Waveland and Bay St. Louis, however, are numerous homes, businesses and, yes, FEMA trailers, that their occupants found the time and spirit to decorate despite the demands of post-Katrina life.

In Bay St. Louis, there’s a contest for the best-decorated trailer. The winners haven’t been announced yet, but the entries are as innovative as many of the work-arounds for everyday life in a disaster zone. One sports a giant tag and ribbon as if it is a gift from FEMA. A tree in front of another is bedecked with the icons of recovery from water bottles to MRE’s.

Happy holidays and enjoy the images above from MSNBC.com photographers James Cheng and John Brecher.

MAIN PAGE NEXT POST A bright, clear Christmas on the gulf

Email this EMAIL THIS

33 COMMENTS

I just want to send out my appereciation for everyone who has been through this. I know its not fun and everday is hard. Nevermind during the holidays. I know what it is like and am glad to be in the trenches with ya'll.

The photos only shows the resilience of the human spirit. It simply means one thing: that there is HOPE, ALWAYS...

I particularly loved the picture of the trailer with tree decorated with MRE's, bottled water, etc. What a sense of humor! I was part of Operation Hoosier Relief in Biloxi and really sympathize with everyone down there trying to pick up the pieces.

I WAS IN BILOXI HELPING WITH THE MEDICAL TEAM FROM INDIANA. I AM SO THANKFUL TO SEE THESE WONDERFUL PICTURES OF CHRISTMAS LIGHTS. THE PEOPLE OF MISSISSIPPI ARE ALWAYS GOING TO BE IN MY THOUGHTS AND PRAYERS, I FEEL LIKE A PART OF ME IS WITH THEM AND A PART OF THEM IS WITH ME. GOD BLESS THEM ALL.

i saw where New Orleans don't want the FEMA trailors...man send them to Mississippi!!!!....i'm sure there are plenty of folks... who would be VERY pleased to have those that N.O. don't want ..is New Orleans ...better than us???...i don't think so

What great spirit!!!This is really what Christmas is about, getting together with people and celebrating life. I'm not so sure I could rally as well as all these people, but it is an inspiration and a motivator for me. God Bless

Just learned of this website and this is what I've
been looking for! NBC is our only way to stay in
touch with the Katrina survivors and monitor that
they are being taken care of. I'm a senior but I'd
go down and pitch in if I thought they weren't. This
is the first time I've heard that the trailers were
being used and I watch the new three times a day.

I'm a senior and live in middle TN. When I first saw what Katrina did and how the president asked the American people to pitch in and help, I immediately thought that it would be an incredible ministry and a way to give back to my fellow Americans. I owned a pick-up truck and started hauling Fema trailers into the disaster locations. So far, over 15 units have come down there each with a small bible and a tract booklet "Making Peace with God". The trailer will only be a tempoary solution to ones problem, but the Word of God is good for an eternity!
The problem that I'm facing is a court date for not knowing how to work truckers log books real well and running a yellow flashing light on top of my vehicle which was illegal. I sure wish that I knew someone from the top that could help me with this problem. I never wanted to be a truck driver, just wanted to help a few folks that were in a bad way and had their lives turned upside down with Katrina. Believe me, it's a volunteer opportunity - folks that run trailers are only making near $1/mile while pulling and pay their own fuel and expenses. The DOT needs to lighten up on maintaining trucking rules a regulations if we are to complete this task.

God Bless the storm victims and the people who give of thier time and resources.

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/6a00d83451b0aa69e200d834a32e1869e2

More Rising from Ruin

Story tips?