Hurricane Katrina's scars visible in Pascagoula community

By Patrice Clark - bio | email

PASCAGOULA, MS (WLOX) - Drive around the Chipley community in Pascagoula and you'll see beautiful new homes in some neighborhoods and slabs and overgrown weeds in others.

"Most of the house here were completely unlivable," Chipley resident Jerry Brow said.

Hurricane Katrina pushed about 10 feet of water into the community. Brow bought one of the flood damaged homes after the storm and remolded it.

"I think it is a good place to live and it is a nice community,"

But Brow said quite a few neighborhoods are still empty because insurance costs are too expensive for people. He said others are just not willing to take the risk of losing their homes to a storm again.

"I talk to a person a couple of lots down that had a house, and he said no way he is coming back here.  After Camille, Georges, and the other hurricanes, he is like, that's it.  Katrina was the last step for him."

Pascagoula Councilman Frank Corder represents the area and points out that about 155 homes were destroyed or damaged. Less than half have been rebuilt.

"It bothers me to see theses areas vacant because it creates blight," Corder said.

Corder said there are several projects in the works aimed at bringing back the neighborhoods.

"We are working on a program to try to get these slabs up and to help owners of those lots."

Federal funds are on the way to help this community. Corder said about $3.5 million will go toward fixing the streets and water and sewer upgrades.

"This is the community in Pascagoula that holds the most potential for redevelopment."

Corder said about a thousand people live in the Chipley community.

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