South Mississippians Mark Five Month Anniversary Of Hurricane Katrina - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

South Mississippians Mark Five Month Anniversary Of Hurricane Katrina

The numbers seem impressive.

"Almost 30 million cubic yards of debris have been removed so far," says Eric Gentry, FEMA's Operations Chief for South Mississippi. "Over 34,000 families occupied in trailers which is more than double how many were used last year in the state of Florida throughout all four of the hurricanes."

And those are just a few of the accomplishments Gentry says should be noted five months after the most destructive natural disaster in American history.

"You know the streets are reopened," says Gentry. "A lot of progress has been made. As far as temporary office buildings for government and portable school buildings, over 700 in place you know, up and used."

But on a personal level, the assessment of our progress towards recovery is as varied as the people affected. From those who lost everything.

"We're making out OK," says former Waveland resident Kim Luxich. "It's just, we're getting used to trying to find another job. My store didn't open back up where I worked yet. My husband is traveling everywhere trying to work."

"I'm still in a FEMA trailer," says Tara Busby of Gulfport. "I was in an apartment here in Biloxi actually, and now I'm going to buy a house."

And those who lost very little remain upbeat.

"I'm rebounded, so I'm in good shape," says Len Rowland of Biloxi.

But most residents it seems, feel South Mississippi, in general, has bounced back well.

"We're rebounding," says Ann Burden, a Pass Christian resident who lost everything. "We're getting everything we need. A frying pan and a tea pot. That's all we need."

And they continue to proudly display a spirit that far exceeds the obstacles still left in their paths.

"I've got relatives up north who have nothing but good things to say about the people from Mississippi," says John Vandevelde of Gulfport. "They think these are some of the greatest people in the United States because of the way they've handled things."

By Don Culpepper

Powered by Frankly