Waveland house built from Katrina remnants

By Elise Roberts - bio | email

WAVELAND, MS (WLOX) - The remnants left by Hurricane Katrina are being used in one homeowner's recovery.

After the storm gutted a Waveland beach front home, the houses around it, and a nearby park, one homeowner is using un-conventional methods to rebuild.

Dr. and Mrs. Elliott Black lived in their home for 25 years. The structure withstood hurricane after hurricane, until it met the storm of all storms.

"It took all of the walls and all of the floors out," said Dr. Black.

Hurricane Katrina gutted at least ten feet of the three story home, leaving only a skeleton of the original structure. But now the Blacks are rebuilding using something else the storm destroyed: pine trees.

"They were all destroyed from the salt water from the hurricane as were the pine trees at Buccaneer State Park," Dr. Black said.

After getting the okay, Dr. Black moved hundreds of the park's dead pine trees to his Waveland property. Some of the trees were more than a century old. Now he's using the timber to rebuild his Hancock County home.

"Doing it this way is a slower process than doing it the other way," Dr. Black said.

"It goes through a drying process, a cooking process a curing process and then it gets cut on a sawmill," said James Ferrill.

James Ferrill is the foreman overseeing the massive project.

"This is by far one of the biggest challenges I have ever taken," Ferrill said.

The home will maintain most of its original features, plus a few new ones like an elevator, an expanded porch and bigger bedrooms. And while the project is lengthy, both men are optimistic they will be pleased with the results.

The Blacks say it will take about a year to finish the home. However, they hope to move back in within the next six months.

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