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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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As the rebuilding of Bay St. Louis and Waveland progresses day by day, the time has come to step back to get a broader perspective of what’s happening in the Hurricane Katrina-ravaged towns on which we have focused since the storm.

In the months ahead, rotating teams of MSNBC.com reporters will spend one week a month in "Bay-Waveland" reporting and producing a series of stories on the towns’ battle to rebuild after the most destructive storm in U.S. history. Look for our next update late this month.

The change from "daily dispatch" reporting to fewer but more in-depth reports springs from our desire to spend less time detailing the daily aggravations of life in the storm zone and more time reporting on the big issues that will determine the future of the entire hurricane-ravaged region. In addition to using the time between reports to dig deeper into topics like housing, health care and insurance, we will endeavor to place the progress and disappointments in Bay St. Louis and Waveland in the context of what is playing out elsewhere along the Gulf Coast.

In the meantime, our citizen blog posters will continue to file their thoughts on a regular basis.

While avid readers of the series and residents of this beautiful but battered corner of Mississippi may be disappointed by less-frequent nature of our reports, we assure you it doesn't mean we’re losing interest. We remain committed to sharing the story of the struggle to rebuild these two vital towns with the rest of the world.

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92 COMMENTS

God Bless You! The MS coast has been all but forgotten
in the shadow of New Orleans(not to make light of their plight)-if the media doesn't keep the ball rolling, no one will know how bad these folks are hurting-I have family in MS so don't believe everything thegovt tells us!!!

thanks for all of the good coverage. We appreciate that you have not forgotten us.

Thank you MSNBC for getting to know the people of Bay St. Louis and Waveland and thank you to all those who have followed the story with empathy, kindness and support. You were able to take a disaster and show a twist to it that many would never have seen without your reporters insights. Thanks again for caring. P.S. Check back in on Hancock County, I just bet you will find it's people doing just what you guys predicted once you got to know them..................."Rising from the Ruin"!!!

You have given us names, faces and voices and let people know we are more than our FEMA numbers. For that we will be eternally grateful. Please keep Mike Stuckey involved. I truly believe he has become one of us. I don't cry very often if at all, considering I have nothing but a slab and a few trinkets found in the mud, but if anything can bring a tear, its one of Mike's stories. He has not only seen our hearts, he has gotten into our souls. Thanks MSNBC.

I just returned from Bay St. Louis and Waveland where I spent the holidays working with family and friends still trying to make some headway in the cleanup and rebuilding of their homes and property. I saw very little change from the devastation that I witnessed a week after the storm hit. In fact, I saw more of it because I finally had the courage to drive to the edge of downtown Bay St. Louis to see what was left of my childhood memorials. The shock of what I saw was wrenching. My Bay St. Louis is very very broken. Yes, there are more blue roofs and we actually had one family home ready for dry wall. But I shudder to think of the residents of these communities continuing their grueling daily routines without the help of the many volunteers who have devoted themselves to these towns. In the past three nights since I have been home, The Nightly News barely mentioned the ravaged MS gulf coast. If continuos coverage ceases, so will the influx of much needed assistance. People there are still suffering. Children ask if they will have a home again. Many are living in clusters of FEMA trailers and tents set up in a church yard. No, this was not a Happy Holiday. It was a time of great sadness, and while I appreciate your interest in developing indepth features about the progress, I am afrraid that the people will be forgotten and the scope of their tragedy diminished in the minds of most Americans. Please don't forget them. I don't want the next newscast that I see about Katrina's wrath to be on Aug 20, 2006 when reporters go back for the "big story" like the one the other night about the tsunami. This story must remain current and in the forefront. The people of this country who have lost so much need your help. You have the power to move people. Please continue to do it.

Thankyou MSNBC, Hancock residents are just beginning to get FEMA denial responses and need your continued support as so many American business and citizens are wanting to pitch in with rebuilding efforts. YOU are our greatest hope for connecting them with the many residents who want to rebuild here but have learned they will not be able to afford it. A square of shingles is approaching $60 here but can be bought for $35 a few states over, sheetrock is a rare commidity with caps on how much you can buy. We have families in need of building supplies and there are over 500 skilled volunteer workers in our area, but getting them building supplies is very difficult! PLEASE let people know they CAN do something for Waveland & Bay St.Louis by calling the Hancock County Emergency Operations Center at (228) 466-8200 or by visiting www.hancockeoc.com

Thank you very much for taking a moment to spend some time in the Bay/Waveland area. By keeping the spotlight on these two small towns, the rest of America is able to see not only the devastation, but the closeness and rebuilding that each town yields. Thank you for an in-depth look at our neighbors and friends. Thanks to your coverage, America will continue to see that although we are down, we will persevere. The Bay/Waveland area will take its past and build a bigger and brighter future for generations to come.

"Each dawn holds a new hope for a new plan, making the start of each day the start of a new life."

I lost my house in Waveland about 1/2 mile off the beach. For the first time in my 46 years I had found a wonderful paradise I knew I would live in forever. I never fully understood the scope of these disasters in the past. It's like losing the love of your life, your wife and best friend. It's been over 4 months and I still don't believe it's real. I keep trying to wakeup and everything will be back again.

Thanks for showing recovery of Bay St. Louis and Waveland, but all the other cities on the coast were hit very hard, such as Ocean Springs, Pascagoula, Pass Christian, Biloxi, and Gulfport. Why not show their recovery of the Katrina ruins too..

If MSNBC had to pick the most devestated and damaged area of the gulf coast, they couldn't have picked better. They brought a spot light to an area that was overshadowed by news about New Oleans. I hope they continue to cover Mississippi and to spread along the coast a lot more towards the east. Downtown Pass Christian and Long Beach were also badly meesed up. All I can say is keep up the good work.

It is very critical to maintain coverage of the recovery from Katrina, the people of the area need to know that have support from the outside, and the people outside need to know of the progress, there is tremendous values at stake, the homes of thousands of people, the businesses of thousands and the honesty of their representatives, as the amounts of money injected in that area are huge. It is taxpayer funds and as a result require monitoring, as public officials and Washington officials have not demonstrated the best practises in these areas. A great deal has been learned from this horror of a storm, and the rebuilding of all these areas is vitally important to the values of Americans and the people of New Orleans, Louisiana, Alabama, and Missisisppi.

I am so happy to see that some attention has been turned to Mississippi. I realize that the people of New Orleans have suffered but they are not the only ones. There are so many more small towns out there that are stuggling to survive also. As well as the families in Southwest Louisiana in Cameron and Cacasieu parishs. Keep up the good work.

As usual great reporting and great responses from ALL who continue to show they CARE too...from all over the country...we will continue to offer our thoughts and prayers...and our giving 10% of every dollar we rec in new HEALTH member sign up - and for more afforadble healthcare in ALL 50 US States - this reporting is so very much needed!

THANK You MSNBC - for you have SAVED many lives from being forgotten about!

Agape,
---------------
Stephen Rene
www.eBusinessProfessionals.us
Changing Lives for the Better Everyday!
This could absolutely change your life - too!
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God bless you and thank you for keeping the world informed of our beautiful towns. It helps me keep connected to my community. Keep up the great work. And God bless Hancock County and its incredible people!

Those who really have been forgotten are the people of SW Louisiana who were hit by Rita. There are whole towns that have been wiped out and there has not been one mention of them.

Mike, have enjoyed this site. Have been to the Bay and Waveland to help out and just love to read the daily updates of this beautiful area. The people have surely touched my life and I hope to return soon. Please keep up your informative work so that this area will not be forgotten. God Bless all those on the coast and MSNBC.

As a two-time volunteer with Catholic Charities in the Biloxi area, I am enthralled by your coverage of the Bay-Waveland Area. Keep up your great reporting and keep it linked to the MSN homepage. Progress is being made in the area, but is painfully slow. You need to keep the Gulf Coast and New Orleans in the minds of the citizens of the world. Much work remains to be done.

Thank you MSNBC. I can't tell you how much it has meant to me that someone cared to report on more than just New Orleans. I still meet people every week that assume that since I am an evacuee that I must have lost it all from the storm that "hit" New Orleans. It's amazing that in this modern day, people can still be so uneducated about something as big as this.

Before you fade out a bit, I would like to ask you to check out Hope Haven in Waveland. It is a shelter for battered and abused children that has been doing much for the community that has supported it over the years, while trying to get back on its feet. Terry Latham is the director, and has been a real plus to the home. You can find him through their website at or email me, and I will give you his contact information. With the coast hurting so much now, Hope Haven could use the attention and support from those outside to assist it in helping the children of the local community.

My thanks to those that have helped thus far!

God Bless.

Jane Anderson

I am just thrilled that one media outlet still desires to keep track of the folks on the Gulf Coast. I am still in shock that the President can go before the cameras in Jackson Square and promise to do what is necessary to rebuild the region ... and before the end of the month, make like he had completely forgotten what he had promised.

All I can say is I am glad that MSNBC and NBC have been responsible in their coverage that Washington and the President's misguided handlers would have us believe.

Having served in the Air Force for 28 years, I lived in Biloxi from 1974-75 and 1981-1985. I've been there many times on business. I sure feel sorry for that area.

Thanks! Look forward to the comprehensive reports!

Thank you for continuing to update the public on the progress of rebuilding on the Mississippi Gulf Coast. I am an expat living in the Philippines and only receive the television international news. Your coverage and photos make me feel "closer to home".

I'll like to think MSNBC for providing these stories about Bay St. Louis. A few years ago I learned that my Dad's family is from Bay St.Louis. From your stories along The Hancock County Historical Society's publishing of "Celebrating The First 300 Years" I've learn a lot about the area where my grandfather was born and rised.

My brother Charles is living 100 yds from the beach in a mobile trailer from FEMA. He has 18 months to rebuild. He was in a tent. Near Bay St. Louis & Waveland border. His reports are that it is wild sometimes at night with not much protection. He ran off looters just a few nights ago. You are on your own. Eventually this area will be back. It will take years.

well i guess no more dailey's will encourage me to go to work....instead of setting at the computer...but it was always good to hear of any progress....all and all thanks MSNBC.

I am sorry that the web address for those of you who also wish to visit it for Hope Haven accidentally got deleted. It is .

Many thanks to all of you who have helped all of us hit by Katrina.

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