Jackson Co. neighborhood struggles to rebuild from Katrina

JACKSON COUNTY, MS (WLOX) - Mary Mahoney Drive is a lonely street these days.  For sale signs outnumber the trash cans that are placed in the sides of the street. Reminders of Katrina's devastation can be found everywhere you look: slabs, columns, and driveways that lead to nowhere.

One of the few people who lives on the street is Steve Gourley, who enjoys a morning walk with his dogs. Times have changed for him.

"It's very frustrating," Gourley said. "It's unlike the neighborhood before the storm, which was a very friendly community of folks. And now, as you can see, it's mostly vacant."

As Lisa Rose looks through the book of bad memories left by Hurricane Katrina, she also worries about safety on a street where almost no one lives.

"It's kind of scary because we're isolated now, and it's just a lot of vulnerability when you don't have a lot of neighbors," Rose said.

So why is the rebuilding effort on Mary Mahoney coming along so slowly?  The people that I've talked to who have rebuilt and live here say there are two major reasons.

"Our insurance has doubled and just the requirements to building up in the air. It's a lot more costly to build this high up," Rose said.

Susan Moeller also lost her house in Katrina, but came back to rebuild her home and life.  The signs of Katrina's destruction sill bother her, six years later.

"The slabs that are left and the people that haven't moved back, and just little things across in the woods that haven't been cleaned up," Moeller said.

What is clear is that things may never be the same again in this once thriving neighborhood. Despite that, the people who live on the street still hold out hope that someday their neighbors and friends will choose to return home.

Copyright 2011 WLOX. All rights reserved.