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Arriving in Gulfport
Saturday, Mar 24, 2007 from Gulfport, Mississippi
Posted: Mar 24, 2007 | 385 words | 0 Comments
Back home there is an elderly couple, Clayton and Marcella, who have been very supportive of me and my trip. Actually, Marcella used to pass on Clayton’s old vintage suits and hats onto me during high school. Every once in a while I would dress the part. During the winters Clayton and Marcella would come to Gulfport, MS. For those of you in the South you might not know what a snowbird is, but that is someone form the North who migrates to the South for warmer weather, usually Florida. Well clearly, that’s the connection in this case. Marcella contacted some people at the church they attend here in Gulfport
Just over an hour ago I arrived in Gulfport, Mississippi after just a short drive from Ponchatoula. I can look at the window and see the Gulf Coast for the first time in my life, just two blocks away. For this stop on the trip I’m staying in a camping trailer outside of the Mississippi City United Methodist Church. During Hurricane Katrina this church was completely devastated. The water washed everything out of the church, tore apart the building, and they were lucky that so much of it actually remains. To this day, a year and a half later, the church is still gutted, no windows, no paint, no electricity, etc. The church was kind enough to let me stay in one of the two camping trailers they have next to the church.
Once again I am only two blocks from the Gulf Coast. Katrina hit Mississippi much harder than it did New Orleans, but what cost so many lives in New Orleans were the levee breaks. As I arrived here in Gulfport I drove along the beach and coastline observing the destruction. There are only a few buildings still there, either ones that have been completely rebuilt, or ones that haven’t been torn down yet and show their original damage. From large condo complexes, casinos, and mansions these buildings were completely wiped away.
During my time living here where the brunt of the storm hit I hope to learn more about the process of recovery. It already seems like Katrina was a long time ago, but anyone who has witnessed the damage can testify that there is a very, very long way to go.