Long Beach Citizens To Get First Access To Homes - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

09/15/05

Long Beach Citizens To Get First Access To Homes

As they pick through the rubble of their homes, people who lived on the streets just off the beach in Long Beach remember how their neighborhoods used to be.

"It was a very nice neighborhood, pretty laid back, good neighbors, we all just kinda watched out for each other. After something' like this, whata you do?" asked Edward Young.

Pieces of Young's house are on the north side of 4th Street.

He pointed, "Right there that side of the tree."

He lived on the south side. The only thing still intact are his front steps.

"Where do we start? Do they let us rebuild? Is insurance gonna cover me? How far is FEMA gonna go? Many things come to mind. It's just unreal, it's like a bad dream."

A wonderful dream of owning a business turned into a nightmare for Gina and Daniel Miller. They bought Westchester Personal Care Home and poured money and time into a complete renovation, only to watch Katrina wash it all away.

"I want to throw up, which I have. It's heart wrenching but all my people got out safe. What's the plan? If we can't get a loan or a grant we don't know," says Gina Miller.

Two years ago, Seabee Freddie Welch's garden won garden of the month. Parts of it are the only thing that remain.

"Words don't explain it."

He's been able to salvage only a few things.

"A sweatshirt, a sign. My wife and I have been married 14 years, she's been trying to get me to throw this thing out. It's staying with us."

His home is gone, but, Welch vows Mother Nature won't get the final say.

"It was a gorgeous neighborhood. People were wonderful. It's gonna come back. We're gonna rebuild. This is my home, this is my home, not going anywhere."

People south of the tracks can return to their property through this Sunday, September 18th.

Beginning on Monday, the city will clear the debris through this area and remove broken pieces of streets and easements. Only those citizens who have been okayed to live in their homes will be allowed to stay there.

by Marcia Hill

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