CommunityPam's House Blend

Damage in Ocean Springs, MS

We just received some pictures from Kate’s sister in Ocean Springs, Mississippi. She evacuated and rode out the storm up in Alabama and is staying with Kate’s folks for now. They returned for the first time yesterday to see the damage to her apartment complex.

First, here is where Ocean Springs is in relation to Biloxi, which most of you have probably seen coverage of — that town was pretty much destroyed. There is still a curfew so they had limited time to come in and retrieve things and get out of Ocean Springs.

Here is the bridge that connected Biloxi to the mainland and what it looked like right after the storm (Reuters):

Ocean Springs was hard hit, and a lot of buildings were destroyed. What Kate’s sister discovered is that although her apartment is still standing, it has been condemned. All of the buildings in the complex are going to be bulldozed because of the water and wind damage.

Her apartment was on the first floor. Fortunately, there was only water damage down the wall, so furniture and belongings were intact. As you can see, the folks on the top floors were not so lucky, nor were the folks on the second floor, since the torrential rain came right on in with the roof gone.

This section of the town was not right on the water, so it didn’t flood, but most of the cars were damaged from flying debris. Her car was drivable, but it remains to be seen what the insurance company will do since all the windows have damage and the exterior of the car is completely pitted and dented, much as you would see after a bad hailstorm. The seal on the car is broken, so it’s not clear if there is moisture damage.

What this tells me is that there are a lot more people left homeless along the Gulf than we are hearing about. There are people that came back to find their houses blown away and no place to go, and those like Kate’s sister that came back to learn that she can’t go back either. She has to pick up and start over someplace else. She’s just fortunate to have immediate family close enough and with space to bunk out with until she figures out what to do next. Do we have any idea how many people are affected in this way as well?

Our friend Kristen is close friends with a NOLA evacuee whose house apparently escaped the flooding, but they cannot get back to save anything, and she’s pregnant and due in two weeks. She’s staying with family as well. Kristen’s partner has distant relatives that lived in Slidell, LA and the water damage is bad, but the problem there is the lack of power and clean water.

Anyone that starts spinning about things getting under control need to get a reality check in the towns that you don’t see the media doing stand-ups in — what kind of job is FEMA doing there?

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Pam Spaulding

Pam Spaulding