PASS CHRISTIAN, MS (WLOX) - We are just a week away from the ninth anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, and many Coast communities will have a lot to brag about when it comes to recovery.
Recovery in one community on Mississippi's West Coast has moved at a snail's pace. Residents in Henderson Point say the neighborhood has been slow to bounce back from the destructive storm. The vacant lots throughout the Henderson Point community tell a story of slow progress.
"I want to say there were 20 homes on this road, and two of us have come back," said resident Donna Armstrong.
Her neighbor, Sandra Breit, lives two streets over.
"There are six houses on this street where there probably use to be 15," said Breit.
Breit is surrounded by vacant lots on both sides of her home and across the street. The Armstrong's are in the same boat.
"I don't know where the residents have gone. We don't see a lot of for sales signs. I don't know if they are holding on to the property for their children, their grandchildren, maybe retirement, come back and live in this beautiful area," said Armstrong.
The numbers back up what the residents are seeing. According to the President of the Henderson Point Pass Christian Isles Civic Association, there were more than 500 homes in Henderson Point before the storm. Nine years later, there are only about 125.
"I think people, after going through Katrina, are fearful of it happening again. Not if, but when," said Breit.
Residents say the other reasons for a slow recovery include several factors.
"High prices for insurance, cost of building and the elevation levels that have been put into place," explained Armstrong.
Some realtors who service the area say there is reason for optimism. They say in the past six months, inquiries about the area have increased.
"We're getting calls more and more from people in Louisiana who want to come back over now who miss not being on the water," said realtor Avra O'Dwyer.
It still remains to be seen how that interest in the area will affect the number of homes here on the tenth anniversary of Katrina.
The President of the Henderson Point Pass Isles Civic Association said the group has re-organized. He said there is a community cook-out planned in mid-October where the community's wants and needs can be discussed in a relaxed atmosphere.