Henderson Point recovery slow, but steady

HARRISON COUNTY, MS (WLOX) - It was one of the most devastated areas along the coast following Hurricane Katrina. And Harrison County leaders say Henderson Point has been one of the slowest areas to bounce back. But some recent construction in the West Harrison County community gives many people reason for optimism.

"After the storm, there were 14 structures left standing," District 3 Supervisor Marlin Ladner said. "There was approximately 580 some homes located in what we call the Henderson Point/Pass Christian Isles area. The most recent count that I have is approximately 89 homes have returned."

More homes are on the way, but not as many as Desiree Bell would like to see. She said before Katrina, she had ten neighbors. Now she has none.

"It's been a slow recovery," Bell said. "We do have some homes that are coming back and neighbors, but as far as our general little area right here in Henderson Point, it's still it's very slow."

Some construction just beginning on a nearby lot gives Jim Seese hope.

"I think it's beginning to bounce back," Seese said. "I think in the last year, we built this last year, and we can see signs of activity going on."

He and others say the high cost of insurance, coupled with the cost to rebuild near the water, is hindering residents from returning to Henderson Point.

"I think its a combination of those reasons," Supervisor Ladner said. "There's been requirements from FEMA about elevation, so there's several factors involved."

Ladner said more than $6 million has been spent in the area to repair storm damaged infrastructure like roads and the community boat launch. A new park also recently opened.

"You have a walking track, as you can see. You have pavilions, you have some little areas along the bayou where people can sit and fish. It has playground equipment, as well, for children. It's designed for the benefit of all ages," Ladner explained.

He said the hope is amenities like that will encourage residents to build back.

The new million dollar park and playground is located on the Harrison County side of the Bay Bridge. It was funded by federal dollars through the Mississippi Department of Transportation.

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