Coast Residents Breathe Big Sigh Of Relief

Ivan spared us a direct hit, but signs of his visit are still visible. Downed trees clutter some streets and yards and in this case one Biloxi couple found a tree atop their house. At the Gulfport harbor, most boat slips were still empty by mid-morning.

On the day after Ivan, grateful people started taking down boards from their homes and businesses.  As Gulfport attorney Jim Wetzel helped with the work, he said the coast was very lucky.

"Very, very spared when you look at what happened in Grenada and Jamaica and Cayman Brac and Caymens we were very spared from that standpoint but I know east of Ocean Springs, considerable damage."

Norman White took down boards too from his beachfront home. But it was the strange plastic dolls dangling in front of his yard that caught our eye.

"This is Jeanne and this is Ivan...Ivan is of course the storm we just had, the hurricane, and Jeanne is out there in the Gulf somewhere so we took five minutes to have a little light, a little sense of humor," White said.

Despite the lighthearted gesture, White said we all have a lot to be thankful for.

"We're very fortunate to be in the situation we're in, most people took the necessary precautions."

Some of those precautions included evacuating. Ivan was, at times, a very unpredictable storm. Harrison County's Civil Defense director said telling people to get out was the right call to make.

"We had to do what we did on evacuations as did Louisiana and had it moved to the left and hit Louisiana we would have been in serious trouble as well so we just lucked out on this one," said Linda Rouse.

White and Wetzell say they hope that luck holds out through the rest of the hurricane season.