> Katrina Photos, Part 1


My first visits back to the Bay St. Louis-Waveland area on October 8 and 13, five weeks after Katrina's eastern eyewall made landfall there. My house, located 2 blocks from the Gulf in the historic district of Bay St. Louis, had between 4 to 5 1/2 feet of water inside from the storm surge, as well as from rain water due to wind damage to the roof.

In early October, the town is in its second round of gutting buildings and clearing debris. I am told that piles of rubble which are 5 feet high today were 15 feet high two weeks ago. During the first week after the storm, you could not determine where the streets left off and the lots began, because debris was everywhere, and many landmarks were swept away. In some places, people have painted the names of streets on the roadway surface, because there is no other way to know where you are.

In my neighborhood, the buildings at least remained standing, although uninhabitable, and with almost total loss of possessions. However, in more than 50% of the Bay St. Louis-Waveland area, the buildings are just gone. Demolished, and the debris either swept out to sea or mixed with the remnants of other buildings and deposited wherever it was when the water receded five hours later.