Katrina Wiped It Out - But Now A Biloxi Business Has A New Place To Call Home

Dan Bailus of Bailus, Dann Welding and Iron Works says at times, building back post-Katrina has been an uphill battle.

"It's been a little bit of a struggle, but it's paying off, " says Dan Bailus, owner.

Dan Bailus' pay off is a new building for his metal welding business on Arceneaux Road right off of Popps Ferry Road in Biloxi.   Katrina destroyed his business which once stood on Caillavet Street in Biloxi. But, it didn't stop Bailus from getting back to work to serve his community.

"He knew people needed things done on the coast. He went out of town and got a welding machine truck and was ready to go to work in two days," says Donna Lipscomb, sister.

Bailus went from working out the back of his truck and trailer to a spacious new work room without the help of insurance policies or federal assistance. He does custom iron work with everything from ornamental irons and spiral steps to gates and fencing. Bailus believes doing the work locally helps coast residents cut down on labor and shipping costs as they rebuild.

"We come out; you look at the book and pick out designs, and we custom build it.  You can stop by and see it while we're building it," says Bailus.

"I've learned a lot from him since I've been here, and that's one of the reasons I like sticking it out. He has more to offer me as a welder and as a person," says Chuck Wilson, employee.

Bailus' sister says his determination and drive to comeback despite Katrina should serve as inspiration to everyone trying to build back post-Katrina.

"That just shows you work ethics.  It's an amazing thing.  Nobody owes you anything you have to work for what you get.  You work for respect and honor in what you do," says Lipscomb.

"All I can tell you is I'm very thankful for it, and it's something I've worked real hard to get," says Bailus.

The business was started by Bailus' grandfather and passed down to his father before he took it over. Bailus' says within the next few weeks he'll start making and selling oyster drudges as his business once did before Katrina.