As I drove along the coastal highway on my way to Pascagoula, I was continually confronted by scenes like this. Here, an Olive Garden was wiped out, and there has been no effort to rebuild it. While large corporate chains simply wrote off their losses and moved on, many of the local businesses have moved to rebuild quickly.
This gas station lays just about 100 yards from the water's edge, so it obviously took the full brunt of the storm surge. And it's not too difficult imagining that the concrete slab was wiped clean and left clean right when the storm hit.
More wiped out businesses from the water's edge. These signs stand out like stripped trees all over the area. Just imagine how awesome the winds were to bend that tall steel pole at the angle it did.
This damaged condo/hotel drew the biggest gasp of awe from me. This is no ancient structure here; it was built more recently. Notice the elevated foundation at ground level. And yet this structure was driven off its pilings and contorted to this position. This is not wind damage, this is storm surge damage. And by the looks of it, the storm surge easily reached the second floor.
I have to reiterate that the rebuilding effort is constant and ongoing. It is only limited by the availability of construction crews to complete the work. I have no doubt that this area will physically recover fully from Katrina. What remains to be seen is how the remaining residents recover emotionally.
Technorati tags: travel, mississippi, biloxi, katrina, rebuilding