Visitor's Katrina recovery views should be a wake up call - - The News for South Mississippi

WLOX-TV Editorial:

Visitor's Katrina recovery views should be a wake up call to us all

We were reminded the other day just how far we have to go to rebuild south Mississippi's waterfront. The reminder came from a friend of ours, a visitor who has a vested interest in how our community recovers.

He flew into Gulfport on a sunny Monday morning. Yet everywhere he looked, he saw dark clouds. For instance, his airplane parked at the hangar on the private side of the Gulfport airport. That hangar happens to have several storm scars on its roof. Our friend wondered why, almost five years later, it wasn't repaired.

When he drove along Highway 90, he questioned why so many properties looked so bad. We explained that sky rocketing insurance costs had stifled development near the beach.

At lunch, our guest peered out a window that overlooked the beach. He saw the sun glistening off the Mississippi Sound. Such a beautiful scene, he said. And with his next breath, he questioned why families would vacation here.

We explained that we have museums, and island excursions. He said no, you have a community that still hasn't done enough to put Katrina in its rear view mirror. Sometimes the truth hurts.

When we look around, we see just how far we've come since August 29, 2005. Yet, when our out-of-town friends stop by for occasional visits, they see scars that haven't healed and wonder what we've done with federal tax dollars we've received.

Remember, our visitor has a vested interest in this area. He wants us to succeed. Let's use his candid message as a wake up call.

Each one of us should become more engaged in our rebuilding. We should do more. And we should demand that our elected leaders do more to put us on a path to recovery.

That's our opinion, we would like to hear yours. Email your thoughts to, or post your comments below.

David Vincent
WLOX-TV General Manager

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