A Traveler and his Cat exploring America.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Mississippi Recovery

Once we crossed the border into Mississippi I noticed much more reconstruction completed.
Bear in mind as you look at these images that they were all drive-by shots.  All the homes are on the left of Hwy 90 so it was easy to snap shots out the window.  On the passenger side is a thin strand of land and then the beach and gulf waters.  Notice the car behind me in the rear view mirror.  There was never any place to pull over but fortunately the speed limit was 25 mph.  Traffic was very light and most of the time I was driving along well under 25.  Mississippi has only 75 miles of coast so it was a great way to spend the day.

So you can see these house are up there.  No problem with any tidal surge as it can freely flow under. I'd get tired climbing stairs all the time.  Imagine packing your groceries upstairs all the time.

 This house I think would do real well with high hurricane winds being round like that.  
It was the only one I saw that was round.  I am wondering if the cement pillars in front may be for a yet to be built wall for wave protection during a tidal surge.

I like the veranda on this home.

I have no idea as to the purpose of this structure.  If that is a home it is strange design.

This one appears even higher than the others but it may be an illusion.  As I was driving I would watch the elevation change on my GPS and much of the time it registered below sea level.  At one point it was approaching the minus 50 foot mark when right then there was a home much like this one.  I couldn't get a picture of it but this house was right after.  Now those pilings are not 50 feet tall; more like 2 stories high or 20 feet.  Something isn't right here.  Maybe my GPS was off.  Notice the 25 mph sign.  I liked that.

Construction stopped here for some reason.  Yes, that is a swimming pool on the left.

Further down the highway as we neared Biloxi the homes were grander and not as elevated.

At the time I thought this was a cool idea of glassing in the entire bottom elevated space but upon closer inspection of the photo later it may be just normal living space.

Many of the homes and vacant lots had For Sale signs and I just assumed the people had had enough and wanted to move away from hurricane prone areas. 

That afternoon when we camped I was talking with the two ranger ladies and asked them about all the new construction I'd been seeing, many with For Sale signs.  I learned that after hurricane Katrina came through the insurance companies jacked up the insurance premiums through the stratosphere.  Many people cannot pay the high rate or simply refuse to do so saying it isn't worth it.  Also a new building code requires all new construction to be on high pilings which is another added cost.  All the new construction is payoff from the insurance companies so you have to rebuild whether you want to or not, I'm not sure.  I guess you just can't take the money and run.

One of the rangers said that she would evacuate for every hurricane warning that was issued and nothing ever happened.  It got to be such a bother that she ignored the one for Katrina right up to Sunday then decided they had better go.  It hit Monday.   I asked “Where do people go?”   They go inland and rent a hotel room or stay with family.  She had family over in Texas and would go there.   She also told me how their one neighbor couple was like them, getting frustrated with all the false alarms.  The man decided to stay at the house while he sent his wife away for Katrina.   “Never again!”   He said it was so terrifying that he would never ever stay back with his home again during a hurricane.

The women told me that a lot of the people who died during hurricane Katrina were elderly people who refused to leave their pets behind.  "Their pets are like their children to them."   There was no place they could go where they could take their pet with them.   Since then changes have been made to provide boarding for pets plus regulations established where motels and hotels cannot refuse evacuation victims if they have a pet with them.  


  1. You never know when warnings are real. Here we suddenly have "code" warnings in colours, like orange, yellow, red for everything. I can't remember what colour is worse, I think red. The warnings are made so often for storms, rain etc. that nobody takes them for serious anymore. I think governments are overdo them to much. Then you get the situation with Katrina.
    Bdw, you made me blush yesterday with your comment, that was sweet.
    Hubby Stef said he is so right, I told you so many times. Well it is just me, I don't use Botox or so, those are only my lucky genes.

  2. I like all the houses in the picture! All are different in many ways!

  3. i would be right there with them - i would not leave my pets.

    the height of these homes still amazes me. my knees ache just at the thought... but i did like the round house. :)

    the one structure looked like small apartments had been built - like a rental unit to be used for construction workers in the area. i'm certain they needed housing during the recovery / rebuilding years.

  4. Very interesting structures. But it is still bad when you have water under the floor.

  5. I wouldn't leave my pets either!

  6. sad. I wouldn't live there but to these people it's there home and I know how I feel about my home. The houses look funny that high in the air. Thanks John for giving us an idea of what happens after a hurricane.

  7. You were right...I sure have enjoyed seeing this post. Still cannot imagine wanting to live there but I sure would love to take that drive.

    My daughter's apt was upstairs and no, I cannot imagine having to climb steps with all the groceries, etc. Just not my idea of fun. But when you are young, you don't think about that. And probably some old people don't either.

  8. What we wouldn't do for our kids, eh?

    BTW, I would not like climbing those steps, especially for taking the trash out and other things. But, that's just me. We live in a home, where we have to climb down steps to get to street level, but not those many steps. Even that is a hassle, especially with older 4-legged kids.

    Many of them houses are pretty to look at.

    Peace :)

  9. Hope they have ladders for when the steps wash away in the next hurricane. The round house looked like a great idea, but even the slight overhang of the eves worried me. I can't imagine being in hurricane-force winds. Never been in anything even close.

  10. I would not want to be a sleepwalker living in the house on stilts.

  11. Definitely not a place where I would want to live. I like to VISIT watery places but prefer to live on higher ground.


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