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

Katrina dried up rental market

Posted: Wednesday, May 2 at 04:01 am CT by

WAVELAND, Miss. -- The golden years were looking good for Theresa James, 82, mother of three, grandmother of five, great-grandmother of four, widow, last surviving child of nine and lifelong resident of the Gulf Coast.

Her big house in Clermont Harbor sold, leaving her with a tidy but sufficient monthly income rolling in. She was happily at home in a $585-a-month apartment on Third Street south of downtown Bay St. Louis.

CONTINUED »

DiscussDiscuss (331 comments) Email thisEmail this | Link to thisLink to this

Insurance a business-breaker

Posted: Tuesday, May 1 at 05:01 am CT by

BAY ST. LOUIS, Miss. – John Brennan and Daye Moynan have had enough. After struggling for 20 months to rebuild their business and their lives in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, the owners of a chic Old Town art mall are selling out and leaving the state.

While they were able to withstand the terrible damage the hurricane inflicted on their beloved Maggie May’s gallery and their home in neighboring Waveland, Brennan and Moynan can’t rise above its effect on their bottom line: a $10,000-a-year jump in the cost of insuring their business. They are not alone.

CONTINUED »

DiscussDiscuss (200 comments) Email thisEmail this | Link to thisLink to this

Of oaks and unspoken angst

Posted: Monday, April 30 at 05:00 am CT by

BAY ST. LOUIS, Miss. – If the trees could talk, they would tell us everything.

Silent, gnarled sentries, the live oaks of the Mississippi Gulf Coast have seen it all. Since well before they beckoned Spanish and French explorers with their massive limbs like welcoming arms, the oaks have been dutiful witnesses to the timeless cycle of birth and life and death. And hurricanes.

CONTINUED »

DiscussDiscuss (209 comments) Email thisEmail this | Link to thisLink to this

The scars of Katrina

Posted: Monday, April 30 at 04:59 am CT by

Bayhightrio
VIDEO: Bay High School freshmen Jonathan Daniels, Leann Cassibry and Will Chisholm talk about their thoughts and experiences 20 months after Hurricane Katrina. Click to watch. (David Friedman / msnbc.com)

Rebuilding a house. Moving out of town. Fighting with the insurance companies. Finding work. All life-changing things that many people have dealt with in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. But what about the kids? They don’t make those decisions, but they feel their impact.

So we asked a trio of Bay High School freshmen about their thoughts and experiences 20 months since the storm. What was the experience like? How has your town changed? Is school different now? And, of course, that timeless question asked of high-schoolers, what will you do next?

CONTINUED »

DiscussDiscuss (20 comments) Email thisEmail this | Link to thisLink to this

Memories or hope?

Posted: Monday, April 30 at 04:59 am CT by

I’m interested in the artifacts, the things left behind 20 months after Hurricane Katrina’s destruction of many Bay St. Louis and Waveland homes.

Does a lone metal folding chair represent parties past or future? A fireplace – cozy winter afternoons remembered, or a future family’s Christmas stockings? Is a solitary section of white picket fence guarding old secrets or opening for new beginnings?

Memories or hope? Both, I think.

DiscussDiscuss (71 comments) Email thisEmail this | Link to thisLink to this

Bridge bash to be a humdinger

Posted: Monday, April 30 at 04:58 am CT by

BAY ST. LOUIS, Miss. – Hancock County residents want to mark the reopening of a key connection to the rest of the Gulf Coast with the biggest party they have ever thrown. There’s just one catch: They don’t know when to schedule it.

The opening of a new Highway 90 bridge to replace the span that was lost 20 months ago to Hurricane Katrina is expected by the middle of this month, but the precise date isn’t yet known.

CONTINUED »

DiscussDiscuss (9 comments) Email thisEmail this | Link to thisLink to this

Gambling going like gangbusters

Posted: Monday, April 30 at 04:58 am CT by

BAYOU CADDY, Miss. – Out in the marshlands, beyond the weeds and ramshackle trailers of Lakeshore, inside a gleaming specimen of downsized Vegas chic, they have a view quite different from the malaise that has settled over much of Katrinaville.

“We like to say that the future’s so bright here we gotta wear shades,” says John Ferrucci, chief operating officer and general manager of the Silver Slipper Casino.

CONTINUED »

DiscussDiscuss (4 comments) Email thisEmail this | Link to thisLink to this

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

slide show

What's new

Latest daily dispatches:

Latest in-depth features:

Latest citizen diaries:

Meet the locals from the towns:

More hurricane aftermath coverage

Story tips?