Another Katrina anniversary

Hurricane Katrina pushed houses inland on the ...

Image via Wikipedia

I can’t believe that the anniversary of Hurricane Katrina is almost here again.

It is a sad time for me still, because six years later I still have friends who are not fully recovered from the devastating storm.

Some of the damage is physical – their homes are still under repair – or worse, unliveable – but the more serious damage is the emotional bruising, that pervading sadness, that has lingered over the past six years. That sadness was compounded by the oil spill last year, and it brought a lot of the old wounds back to the surface.

It has died down again, but the scabs are just barely covering these new wounds.

A lot of people say Mississippi recovered quickly after Katrina, and doesn’t have the same problems that New Orleans/Louisiana has in the recovery process. I say they are wrong.

If you drive down Highway 90 from border to border, you will see the devastation that is still there.

In Jackson County, the damage is subtle. If you didn’t know what was there before, you may not see it.

In Biloxi, you will see bouts of concrete slabs and rubble intertwined with overgrown weeds where beautiful antebellulm homes used to be.

In Gulfport, you will see a few hotel oases scattered along a vast wasteland where restaurants, hotels and more used to be.

The farther west you go – into Hancock County where Katrina unleashed the full force of her fury – the more devastation you will see.

Yes, you also will see a lot of rebuilding, but the scars left by the hurricane are etched so deeply into the landscape, a full recovery may never be possible.

For many people still living on the Coast, seeing the physical devastation keeps the emotional wounds from healing.

Keep them in your thoughts and prayers this week, and on Monday – the anniversary of the storm.

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