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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.

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

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Today is Tuesday. Tomorrow is Wednesday. Yesterday was Wednesday. It's a never ending cycle. Up until Katrina hit. I had just entered the sixth grade and was just getting into the hang of things. It all seemed so normal.

But after Katrina nothing made sense. Tuesday could have been Sunday. Halloween was Easter and you couldn't put it back together. It was like a puzzle, but there was one piece missing, and one that just didn't fit. Now it's starting to come back. But it wasn't that way for a long time. We would almost live outside, only going in to sleep. We would rarely wash cloths. And do the general cleaning, sweeping vacuming dusting the whole deal, less if any.

Even now some people are still living in tents and sleeping on the ground. I can't imagine what it's like just watching. Even when the news shuts off it's still there. Even after you finish reading this blog it will still be there. It will be here for ages.

All the great buildings, memorials, even people lost will never come back. It's gone. Gone is a strong word. It's permanent, you can't turn your back on it, it's always there, or not there, however you want to put it. I guess I'm sounding kind of demented, or not. Probably just crazy. Well, whatever it is. We bless what is there, mourn for what is gone, and welcome in what's new.

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Noah, you a a talent. Keep up your writing, you also have a grasp on how others in you town feel but can not express. I hope this feeling gets better real soon.


I am glad you took the time to write your feelings about what happen to you and your community 5 months ago. Maybe if we all you sit down and think about our write our feelings out maybe we could call deal with things better. I just wanted you to know that I have been praying for all of you down on and near the coast. I like what you said Noah about thinking about what was lost and looking forward seeing what is to come. Just a final note, I hope you and your family is doing well and I just wanted to say hang in there.

You are a writer. Write. You have to. It will help you make sense of this. Do it for you.

I too have been through three hurricanes the last two years. My house stood but did get damage but I was able to live in my home. I can't image losing my home and whole community. I know the possiblility is great that this next year could be the one. I have lived through a great many terrible things but I know everything bad can be made into something great. Don't give up hope. Life is good. Things will get better. My son and I held my window during wilma because they wanted to blow in even with plywood covering them. May your eyes take in all the blessings around you. Take care.

You sound perfectly all right. That's the way, anyone would feel. I like the positive note from you at the end. You are really a great writer. Keep writing and wish you the best to come.

I have a grandson the same age as you and we are still rising from devastation of Katrina/Rita. We lived in St. Bernard, Louisiana and lost everything. You sound like an extremely articulate and adjusted young man. Your family should be so proud of you. They say time heals - lets hope it works for all of us. I have printed your blog and will frame it to read every day. It and you will be my source of inspiration and strength. Good luck!

What can be said but my heart goes out to all of the people that suffered through Katrina. People that had family or knew anybody that went through that suffered much pain.I can say I feel your pain or I know how you feel but in reality no one really knows how they feel exactly they may know part of it but only the pearson that has gone through it really how it feels.People can listen to the people and just be there for them.Noah is right confusuion was creatted even more then people are already.

WOW...im almost speechless! Noah your words and the words of all these people is over-powering! I cant imagine what you've all been through. I cant justify. But i know one thing. The weak have became stronger. The ungrateful are now grateful. The people who never had time no find the time. This world is beautiful and the people who forgot what life was all about stop to smell the roses. Your last statement Noah moved me in SO many ways as a 6th grader you sound like a grown man! God Bless and i send my strength your way every day!


I was raised in the Bay-Waveland area and as you and so many others, it will never be the same. The structures of the area can be rebuilt and the homes replaced, but what cant be replaced is the memories that the residents share. I was your age when Hurricane Camille hit the area. I remember everything that occurred. Please so the same, remember and write about it. Let the others in this country who seem to think that persons on the coast are blowing the storm damage out of porportion to collect FEMA funds know the truth. Good luck.

Kerry Bludnick
Former Bay rat.

Noah, it is a glorious moment when a writer finds his voice. i would seriously consider educating & developing the gift God has bestowed on you. Katrina may not be what you are destined to chronicle. And if you miss your destiny...well, the regrets of katrina will seem miniscule in comparison.

I was very touched by your posting. I have been down two times to help out with the relief effort in Mississippi and the people have become a part of my heart. I will be giving a presentation to some people to try and encourage them to get down there and help. I was wondering if you would allow me to read your posting to them? If your willing, plese email me a copy (I am unable to copy it from this site. Thanks so much for putting your thoughts and feeling out here for all of us to read. Your insights are beyound your years!!!

Noah, I worked as a volunteer in Waveland, Miss. after Katrina. I understand your feelings of shock. It was traumatizing to be faced with such massive destruction-for adults. We shook our heads a million times a day as we listened to stories, held a hand. You are very brave and keep writing.

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