Remembering Hurricane Katrina in Photographs: Home Will Never Be the Same, 2005
T en years ago today, Hurricane Katrina forever changed the lives of millions of people, as the Gulf Coast of the United States — their home — will never be the same; and although New Orleans once again commands the bulk of the attention worldwide, the mostly forgotten cities and towns along the Mississippi Gulf Coast are still recovering to this day.
Once the third largest city in the state of Mississippi in terms of population, Biloxi suddenly became the fifth largest city due to a significant number of residents moving out — as well as Katrina claiming the lives of those who were unable to survive the onslaught of the hurricane, as 238 of the people who lost their lives were in Mississippi.
Those who were fortunate — or unfortunate, depending on your point of view — enough to have their houses still standing typically endured significant losses in terms of property. Wooden studs stood where walls once divided houses into rooms. Roofs were stripped bare of some of their shingles — many of them sporting a new bright blue tarp for temporary protection from the elements until a new roof could be installed or repaired. Decades-old decayed trees suddenly became unwelcome guests after they crashed into houses.
In eastern sections of Biloxi, I saw block after block of flat land with the occasional tree where entire neighborhoods once thrived; a couple of brick steps to where a house once stood; and a person now and then simply stared at the barren land as they remembered what was there only days ago.
Mounds of refuse continued to pile all over the Mississippi Gulf Coast, waiting to be removed as residents continued to clean up and attempt to make sense of what seemed to be a senseless disaster.
As usual, I will let the photographs speak for themselves…
…and wait until you see the damage inflicted upon the hotels and casinos…
All photographs ©2005 by Brian Cohen.