MISSISSIPPI AND LOUISIANA
Yesterday we arrived at Fontainebleau State Park in Mandevile, Louisiana and today we backtracked a little to tour the beach area around Gulfport and Biloxi, Mississippi.
This georgeous sunset is from the beach at the campground, over Lake Pontchartrain.
Coming in to roost for the night......
The devastation from Katrina is still very evident along the Mississippi Gulf Coast. Virtually every structure along US 90 from Waveland to Biloxi was destroyed. Huge concrete slabs remain where little strip shopping centers used to be. One large sign still stands where the Outback Steakhouse was located. Driving along the beach road you see these massive, slightly broken, oak trees hovering over slab after slab but no houses. Driveways turn off the highway and disapear into the sand. Many of the empty lots have For Sale signs.
Despite all of this there is plenty of new construction going on. Several new hotels and condo complexes are already operating and many new commercial buildings are also open....MacDonald's, Waffle House, Ihop, banks (of course), a few strip shopping centers, etc. I would guess that for every new structure there are a dozen vacant lots. Almost all of the debris is gone and repairs and upgrades to the roads are ongoing.
The saddest looking area is the beach road at Waveland. All the houses are gone and the water comes right up to the road with not much beach in some areas.
Waveland beach road.
A lot of the people who are rebuilding their homes are living in travel trailers, fifth wheels, or motor homes while the construction is going on. Some are just living in the rv's and haven't started construction yet. Some have the FEMA mobilel homes that look like little 'shotgun' houses..........cute but very small.