PASCAGOULA, MS (WLOX) - Stewart Keene looks out over the water. On Aug. 29, 2005, his home looked like a shell of its former self. Now, it looks much better. Why rebuild?
"I think a lot of the folks that rebuilt here have a long history here, a good community effort on the part of all the people and just a desire to come back," Stewart said.
He added the job wasn't easy.
"It was pretty tough, but in the same respect, we had a lot of help from a lot of people, and it was just one of those things, we had to get it done," said Stewart.
Some things haven't been done though. The scars left behind by Hurricane Katrina are still visible in some areas in the form of empty lots and for sale signs.
That doesn't stop Maura Whitlock from enjoying the view from her front yard. The view nine years ago wasn't nearly as beautiful. Still, the decision to rebuild was easy for her.
"We've been here 25 years now, and this was home. We love our church, we love our community, we love our friends and it was just home. We wanted to be back, so we got started right away, and we were the first ones back on the beach," Whitlock recalled.
Terri Lockard feels the same way. Her home has gone from nothing more than a slab to a thing of beauty. She wouldn't have it any other way.
"I just can't imagine living anyplace else but on the Coast. We've lived here all of our lives," Lockard said.
Despite all the success stories along Beach Boulevard, the new homes being rebuilt following the storm, the new parks, the new amenities for people to enjoy, remembering that dreadful day nine years ago still brings back very painful memories for Lockard.
"We lost all of our belongings, our children's mementos, everything that was there. They are not kids anymore," Lockard lamented. "We'll never be able to recover those things; the pictures, Christmas ornaments, just a lot of memories."
Now, it's time to make new and better memories.