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

A volunteer housing shortage

Posted: Wednesday, May 31 at 08:55 pm CT by

WAVELAND, Miss., -- Joe Williams is a bit like the Expedia.com for volunteers on Mississippi's Gulf Coast.  As Hancock County's volunteer and donations coordinator, Williams makes sure good-hearted visitors to the area have a safe place to sleep and a steady stream of productive assignments.

In his office is a massive white board covered in red and green ink indicating who's coming and where they're staying. In the hallway outside is a printed spreadsheet taped to the wall that’s nearly 9 feet tall and perhaps twice as wide. It lists hundreds of volunteer groups and their specialties.  On his desk are thousands of work orders to be filled, an endless pile of requests for "debris clearing" or "roof work."  The amount of human help down here is truly inspiring. But organizing it all is no cakewalk.

CONTINUED »

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Still more sci-fi similarities

Posted: Monday, May 29 at 11:31 pm CT by

The final chapters ... well, at least for now.

EPISODE V: The Outside Menace!

*The outside life forms are hostile ... or at least annoying*

CONTINUED »

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'We're coming back'

Posted: Sunday, May 28 at 04:02 pm CT by

"We're coming back!"

“We are staying!”

Those are the slogans that seem to be plastered everywhere in Bay St. Louis and Waveland these days. They can be found on signs planted in the yards of houses that still lie in ruin; and they’re heard on everyone’s lips. And yet, the need to say these words implies that not everyone here -- or every resident scattered around the South -- believes it. These two towns now are very much teetering on the half-way point between renewal and ruin.

CONTINUED »

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The show must go on

Posted: Sunday, May 28 at 04:01 pm CT by

BAY ST. LOUIS, Miss. -- Like so many other landmarks in the batted Gulf Coast, the Bay St. Louis community theater was completely destroyed by Hurricane Katrina.  Correction: The building was destroyed; the theater lives on.  This month, even though the building still lies in place as a pile of rubble, the local acting troupe is putting on its first production since last August -- “You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown.”

The Bay St. Louis Little Theatre is a bit more than your average community playhouse. It’s been staging plays and musicals for 60 years, and normally performs 4 major productions each year.  Of course, in Katrina’s aftermath, there were questions about the Little Theatre’s future. 

We asked two members of the theater’s board of directors -- Cheryl Grace and Michelle Kessling -- to show us what happened to the Little Theatre, and just what the group is now up against.  We think you’ll find the tour we received both tragic and inspiring, as Grace picks through the rubble and feels ghosts left behind by 60 years of performances.  And, ultimately, you’ll understand why this troupe is so determined that the show must go on.

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What evacuation plan?

Posted: Sunday, May 28 at 04:01 pm CT by

Imagine this nightmare for small towns along the Gulf Coast like Bay St. Louis and Waveland.

Soon after hurricane season begins on Thursday, a gathering storm takes aim at the area, reaching tropical storm or even hurricane force just a few days from landfall. The evacuation order is given by local authorities. And that's when the trouble starts.

CONTINUED »

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ARCHIVES

August 31, 2008 - September 6, 2008
August 24, 2008 - August 30, 2008
March 16, 2008 - March 22, 2008
August 26, 2007 - September 1, 2007
April 29, 2007 - May 5, 2007
January 28, 2007 - February 3, 2007
December 31, 2006 - January 6, 2007
December 24, 2006 - December 30, 2006
November 26, 2006 - December 2, 2006
November 12, 2006 - November 18, 2006
November 5, 2006 - November 11, 2006
October 29, 2006 - November 4, 2006
October 15, 2006 - October 21, 2006
October 8, 2006 - October 14, 2006
October 1, 2006 - October 7, 2006
September 10, 2006 - September 16, 2006
August 27, 2006 - September 2, 2006
August 20, 2006 - August 26, 2006
July 30, 2006 - August 5, 2006
July 23, 2006 - July 29, 2006
June 25, 2006 - July 1, 2006
May 28, 2006 - June 3, 2006
May 21, 2006 - May 27, 2006
May 14, 2006 - May 20, 2006
May 7, 2006 - May 13, 2006
April 30, 2006 - May 6, 2006
April 23, 2006 - April 29, 2006
April 16, 2006 - April 22, 2006
April 9, 2006 - April 15, 2006
April 2, 2006 - April 8, 2006
March 26, 2006 - April 1, 2006
March 19, 2006 - March 25, 2006
March 12, 2006 - March 18, 2006
March 5, 2006 - March 11, 2006
February 26, 2006 - March 4, 2006
February 19, 2006 - February 25, 2006
February 12, 2006 - February 18, 2006
February 5, 2006 - February 11, 2006
January 29, 2006 - February 4, 2006
January 22, 2006 - January 28, 2006
January 15, 2006 - January 21, 2006
January 8, 2006 - January 14, 2006
January 1, 2006 - January 7, 2006
December 25, 2005 - December 31, 2005
December 18, 2005 - December 24, 2005
December 11, 2005 - December 17, 2005
December 4, 2005 - December 10, 2005
November 27, 2005 - December 3, 2005
November 20, 2005 - November 26, 2005
November 13, 2005 - November 19, 2005
November 6, 2005 - November 12, 2005
October 30, 2005 - November 5, 2005
October 23, 2005 - October 29, 2005
October 16, 2005 - October 22, 2005

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