Henderson Point Slowly Recovering From Ferocious Storm - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Henderson Point Slowly Recovering From Ferocious Storm

When you look around and see what Hurricane Katrina did to Henderson Point, you wonder how anybody rode out the storm and survived it. Tom Blair doesn't have to wonder. He did.

"I was able to craw out of the rubble," Blair remembered as he recounted what became a three day odyssey in the midst of a hurricane, flood waters, and unprecedented debris. "My dogs didn't drown. Neither did I."

Not much else in his west Harrison County neighborhood could be saved. Virtually every house in Henderson Point is gone. And so are most of the people who once lived there.

Marlin Ladner is the supervisor for Henderson Point.

"Oh it's unbelievable. It's sad," Ladner remarked. "It was such a viable area prior to the storm. And when you look at the devastation, it's really a sad situation. But I have faith that people are going to come back."

So does Stan Bebler. In between whacks of his sledgehammer, Bebler called Henderson Point "paradise". Being one of the first to rebuild his home on the bayou was a no brainer.

"Just been here most of my life and love it here," he said.

Bebler was one of the estimated 500 Henderson Point hurricane victims who attended a Harrison County Zoning Office meeting last Saturday. The meeting gave planners their first chance to hear how people who lived in Henderson Point before Katrina would like to see their neighborhood rebuilt.

Bebler wants to see it rebuilt "pretty much like it was, just a nice residential areas, lots of good people, good families."

Supervisor Ladner thinks that's very possible.

"It's not going to occur overnight. But I do see it as a viable location," he said. "And I think these citizens want to come back."

Especially Mr. Blair -- the self described old man who never left his property, even when Katrina was pounding away at Henderson Point.

"I love it," said Blair.

A few days ago, he got his rebuilding permit.

"I don't know if I'll even get it built. But here I am," he said.

If you own property in Henderson Point, and there's only a slab on it, you can still get FEMA to haul it away for free. Supervisor Ladner said Harrison County has until the end of February to get FEMA to remove any Henderson Point debris that's sitting along a right of way.

by Brad Kessie

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