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

Not again! Preparing to flee Gustav

Posted: Friday, August 29 at 12:15 pm CT by

Steve and I are wondering whether his art show this Saturday evening will go on. Should he hang the show? Should I buy the hors d’oeuvres? Will anyone come, or will they all be packing and/or leaving? Should we reschedule it?

We haven’t needed to evacuate since Katrina. A few times, we’ve thought we would need to leave, but fickle weather patterns kept us in place. Not until Gustav have we seriously begun to hold our collective breath and pack our collective belongings.

CONTINUED »

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History that still hurts

Posted: Thursday, August 28 at 08:30 pm CT by

When I was born, Hurricane Camille had happened three years previously, almost to the day. I grew up hearing mention of Camille from time to time, but not a whole lot. I heard about it when I noticed a stain on my grandparent’s paneling (the waterline), when I inquired about steps leading to nowhere (former front stoops) and whenever a storm was heading this way (how would it compare to Camille?; how much water there was in Camille). My aunt Theresa composed the dedication for a sign erected in Waveland to commemorate the 1969 storm. Beyond that, life went on. Camille was just part of local history.

As so often happens, I grew a bit older and gained a more personal perspective of the local timeline. Now three years have passed since Katrina, and it remains very much a part of coastal consciousness. I am amazed, though, to hear newcomers say things like, “Oh, yes, I heard stories about that storm” as if it’s a historic event. Of course, it is an historic event. I know that. But it doesn’t seem that way, because we are still feeling its effects.

CONTINUED »

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Rebuilding, one house at a time

Posted: Thursday, August 28 at 08:27 pm CT by

Before the storm, we counted ourselves lucky to live on Mollere Drive, known far and wide as the prettiest street in Waveland, Miss. My husband had retired from a D.C. job and we moved here in 2000. We had just finished a five year renovation of our entire home and thought everything perfect. We had added a covered patio complete with a hot tub and John finally had the workshop he had longed for. Then Hurricane Katrina hit and we lost everything.

CONTINUED »

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Celebrating the 'day-after anniversary'

Posted: Thursday, August 28 at 08:23 pm CT by

This year the trees have made a comeback.

For the past several years, lots of things have looked like a haunted house here on the coast. Dead, twisted trees, bare branches, bark all painted in silvery grays. But this year the vegetation looks thicker and lusher.

It took me a while to notice. I spent most of the summer trying to figure out why our above-ground pool was staying so cold. (Poor Heather could hardly stand to get in it!) Then I realized that all of the trees on the lot next door had leaves on them, and the sun wasn't hitting the pool until about noon. The trees were so green that even a colorblind person like me could tell.

Life is a funny thing, and sometimes something can stay bottled up inside for years before bursting back out in a showy display.

My life has been that way lately.

CONTINUED »

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Much accomplished; much to be done

Posted: Thursday, August 28 at 08:20 pm CT by

When I was asked to write this diary for the third anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, I took the time to go back and read my other diaries through the first two years. I was amazed at what has been accomplished since then.

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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