Mississippi, down but not out

Gulfport, Mississippi is Not a Footnote

Officers’ club points out a post on Blackfive titled Mississippi: The Invisible Coast:

Thank you Matt for giving me the opportunity to post about my state.

My name is Karen and I live in Gulfport Mississippi. On August 29, Hurricane Katrina slammed into my city as well as Biloxi, Pass Christian, Long Beach, Bay St Louis, Waveland, and other coastal cities. The destruction is indescribable and brutal. Preliminary estimates show that over 65,000 homes in Mississippi were destroyed and a further 38,000 will more than likely need to be demolished. From my circle of friends and acquaintances, 30 have had their homes destroyed outright . A further 10 had so much water damage their homes are unlivable.

There are Mississippians in Gulfport, D’Iberville, St Martin, Biloxi, Pass Christian, Bay St. Louis, and Waveland that are sleeping in tents while waiting on a FEMA trailer. Small communities in Mississippi such as Waveland, Lakeshore, and St Martin no longer exist.

The national news media has relegated my state to a footnote when Hurricane Katrina is discussed. Even The Weather Channel now fails to mention Mississippi when discussing Hurricane Katrina. The American people have not forgotten us and for that I am grateful. There are so many volunteers that are helping us rebuild our lives.

I’ve been troubled by the near-footnote status that Mississippi was given since, well, since about the day after Katrina missed New Orleans and hit Mississippi.

Not to minimize the trouble in New Orleans, or the scale of the city’s population, but to focus almost solely on New Orleans when the truly epic damage was spread across the neighboring state’s coastline was unforgivable.

Speaking of “unforgivable”, why are people still waiting on FEMA trailers?

Here’s a photo of downtown Pass Christian I was sent by a reader, who works with the spouse of the photographer, an Air Force Reservist sent to the Mississippi coast to help with relief efforts:

For many, many more pics of the devastation along the “footnote” coast, see Pictures from the air of Gulfport and Biloxi areas. Truly amazing. If anyone can look at these and then explain to me why Mississippi has been virtually ignored by the coverage, I’d be interested.

Also, don’t miss Chuck Simmins’ Carnival of Hurricane Relief #18.

cross-posted at Winds of Change


  1. On the News page of the Carnival, there’s a story that explains why the trailers haven’t been distributed in some places. The current residents don’t want a trialer park next door.

  2. Some areas are still without power, water, or sewer/septic hookups. Those unfortunate areas cannot get FEMA trailers without those hookups, so I’ve heard.

  3. Honestly, I’d have to say Mississippi is being largely ignored because the response has been competent, and oh, BTW, the governor, Haley Barbour, is a Republican. The last thing the press wants to do is create a GOP nominee for Pres in ’08 by making Barbour look good. Plus, the rest of the country knows where you’re talking about when you say New Orleans. Nobody, even A students in geography, knows where Pass Christian is.