BAY ST. LOUIS, MS (WLOX) - On the eve of the 9th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, Bay St. Louis leaders are looking back on the days following the storm and how much the city has bounced back.
Nine years after Hurricane Katrina, the scars of her wrath are still evident all over the city, but so are the signs of progress.
"The city has come a long way. I remember not quite nine years ago, we sat there and we talked and we thought it would be a lifetime before we saw any type of normalcy," said former Mayor Eddie Favre.
Favre was mayor of the city when Katrina struck. He says that sense of normalcy eventually returned to the Bay with one noticeable exception.
"We still have one area that still needs to be completed, and we're not there yet . That's the area of bringing our people back home. We're still several thousand people away from being whole again," explained Favre.
In some areas of the city, like Cedar Point and Shoreline Park, residents have been slow to rebuild.
"There are areas that are still very depressed and still not completely populated. There are actually some small areas that have a greater population than they did prior to Katrina," said Bay St. Louis Mayor Les Fillingame.
Fillingame served as the city's recovery manager during the Favre administration.
"Really, recovery and the build on top of recovery has really exceeded everybody's expectations," said Fillingame.
From an infrastructure rebuild standpoint, Fillingame says the city has fully recovered from the storm nine years later, but stopped short of saying recovery as a whole is at a 100 percent level.
"In order to say we're fully recovered, every person that still claims Bay St. Louis as home would have to say we're a 100 percent recovered, and we can't say that yet," explained Fillingame.
A series of Katrina anniversary observances will be held in Hancock County at the Katrina Ground Zero Museum in Waveland on Thursday night and Friday morning.