South Mississippians Building Back Stronger - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

South Mississippians Building Back Stronger

Katrina poured five feet of water in Bo Bowen's Gulf Hills home and washed away most of his belongings.

"It was maybe a stud or two shy of being condemned. It just barely made it," Bowen says.

So he's putting his faith and his dollar into Polysteel. With it, Bowen hopes his home never looks like this again.

"Hopefully if we ever have a bad storm like that again, it would just limit damage. Nothing's hurricane proof," Bowen adds.

Marvin White installs Polysteel.

"We stack them up like regular blocks then we put reinforcement steel in it and then we fill it with concrete," White says.

White says it's been tested to withstand 300 mile an hour winds.

"The homes that have survived are the homes built with this product," White adds.

White says on the Gulf Coast that's not very many, although Polysteel has been around since the 70s.

"Pre-katrina I had some calls, not a whole lot of interest. But since Katrina, I've got many homes that are ready to start just as soon as we can get everything squared away," White says. "It will be a hot item, that's for sure."

In fact, the only downside to this Polysteel is it's not flood proof.

"It won't keep the surge out, but it sure does make the recovery a whole lot easier. And you still have a home left when you get back," White smiles.

That's important to Bowen, who has a sense of humor about it all.

"Our walls will probably be about 19 feet thick when we are done," Bowen laughs. "It might look like a bomb shelter, but it's not going to go anywhere. We don't think. Who knows?"

By Jaimee Goad

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