Above:A 360-degree photo shows a rusted boat and other wreckage at Bayou Caddy, a port west of Waveland. (John Brecher / MSNBC.com)

About this project

In the coming months, MSNBC.com will focus its coverage of the Hurricane Katrina recovery on two cities on the hard-hit Mississippi coast.

Coastal Miss. vicinity

Though Bay St. Louis and Waveland are far from the media spotlight on New Orleans, the intertwined fates of the people, businesses and institutions in these towns tell the story of an entire region's struggle to recover from the most destructive storm in U.S. history.

Read about the towns

Out with the old, in with the new

Posted: Friday, March 10 at 08:28 pm CT by

060313_perkins_house

An Army Corps of Engineers subcontractor tears down Mary Perkins’ home in Bay St. Louis. Photo by Mary Perkins

As the adage goes: Out with the old and in with the new. My house was demolished this week. I had been wanting this done, so I could begin the rebuilding, but it was a bittersweet experience. I had lived in that house for more than 50 years, since I was 5. After Camille, it was damaged and had to be repaired, but nothing like this. As the boom went through the front door and began swinging side to side, taking down the front part of the house, I cried. Salvaging the memories is now all that is left.

I know it is a good thing, but it's really hard. When the house was there, even though it could not be repaired, it was still there. Even though you could not live in it, it was still there. Now it is gone, and you stand there and you get scared. Because it is not there anymore, and you are forced to begin a new thing. And because you grew up there, grew up with the neighbors, grew up with the town. Now, the neighbors are still there, but the house and the town are just about gone. I thank God that the neighbors and my sister were there with me. At least I did not have to face it alone.

CONTINUED »

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Pharmacy's loss punctures positivity

Posted: Wednesday, March 8 at 03:03 pm CT by

Last week marked the six month anniversary of Hurricane Katrina in Bay St. Louis and Waveland. And things are beginning to look more cleaned up. Granted, the lots that look clean once had a house on them. And people lived in those houses, had their things -- mementos, pictures, clothes, appliances, furniture, some even pets and loved ones. But now all that is gone.

We here are striving to keep our heads up, think positive and begin the road to recovery and rebuilding. Then, you get smacked in the face. I found out today that CVS Pharmacy, currently in two trailers, is closing its doors Friday, March 10, never to return. They began gutting their building and things were looking up. Then, today they started telling customers that their prescription files would be moved to Rite Aid and they would close their doors.

CONTINUED »

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Defensive driving, Katrina style

Posted: Tuesday, March 7 at 06:15 pm CT by

Living in Post-Katrina Mississippi has certainly been interesting to say the least. I remember an old Chinese curse I once heard: "May you live in interesting times." Everyone here has had to get used to a new set of circumstances especially when it comes to transportation.

Nearly everyone I know has cans of "fix a flat" in their cars at all times, and I've been lucky enough to even get an air compressor that runs off of your car battery (Thanks Mom and Dad!).

CONTINUED »

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