Photos

 

Remembering Hurricane Katrina - August 29, 2005

These are photos Jan Michaels took in Gulfport and Biloxi after Katrina devastated the Mississippi coast. Clean up and reconstruction had already begun.

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    The projected path of Hurricane force winds and Tropical Storm force winds. Katrina formed in the Bahamas on August 23, 2005 and hit the Southern Coast of Florida as a Category 1 Hurricane. Photo credit NOAA
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    Hurricane Katrina was the costliest natural disaster in US history causing $108 billion dollars in damage. Hurricane force winds extended 120 miles out from the center of circulation and tropical storm force winds extended 250 miles out from the eyewall... that's 500 miles wide!! Photo credit NOAA
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    Katrina was the 3rd strongest storm to hit the US coast. Although, at one point, a Category 5 storm with winds of 175 mph, she made landfall as a Category 3 storm with winds of 125 mph. Photo credit NOAA
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    Hurricane Katrina making her 2nd official landfall in Buras -Triumph, Louisiana at 6:08am on August 29, 2013. Photo credit NOAA
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    Hurricane Katrina with her 3rd and final landfall in Mississippi. Photo credit NOAA
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    And the destruction has happened. Driving down Beach Boulevard you see the trees that were left standing were stripped of their leaves and branches and all have a lean to them.
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    Houses flattened... in some cases no evidence that one once stood there.
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    Not uncommon to see a damaged home with a trailer right beside it. Some families lived in the trailer on their property while their home was being restored.
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    Beauvoir, home of Jefferson Davis and built in 1852, suffered severe damage to the library. Other buildings on the grounds were destroyed.
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    Beauvoir - The wrap around porch and beautiful columns are gone.
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    The pulpit area of First Baptist Church Gulfport
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    Sanctuary of FBC Gulfport
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    Steeple had some damage, but still stood high.
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    It's interesting that most of the high rise casinos and hotels that were on the ocean side and took the brunt of the storm surge were left standing. But, restaurants, hotels, and service stations across the street were flattened by casino barges breaking loose from their moorings and getting carried across 90 with the surge.
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    Grand Casino Gulfport
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    The Grand Casino Gulfport suffered major damage as the casino barge ended up almost vertical on Hwy 90. They imploded the barge to clear Hwy 90 and Copa Casino bought the property which is now Island View Casino.
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    The Grand Hotel in Gulfport is still gutted and unoccupied.
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    Part of the Copa Casino barge ended up at the Grand.
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    Vrazel's Fine Food Restaurant... gutted. A favorite place to eat. Chef specialty, Eggplant Larosa.
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    Banner says "With God All Things Are Possible." The owner, Bill, had talked about getting out of the business after Katrina but he said there was so much devastation that he just couldn't bail out on the city at that time. They reopened. But, he finally decided to close the doors 7 years later.
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    Vrazel's
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    The SS Hurricane Camille. It landed there after Hurricane Camille and it stayed there even after Hurricane Katrina. But, the old tug boat was so badly damaged that the owners didn't reopen the souvenir shop and they put the land up for sale. The SS Hurricane Camille was demolished in May of 2008.
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    3 stories of this building washed away!
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    just a concrete slab
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    Children's Park in Gulfport
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    foundation where a convenience store used to sit
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    Strip mall gutted
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    Not a building in site.
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    only signs remained for most one story buildings and restaurants
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    Treasure Bay pirate ship broke from it's moorings and ended up a couple of hundred feet down the beach.
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    The huge ship used to dock directly behind the casino castle
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    nothing left that way
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    and just the gutted remains of Gators Souvenir Shop
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    Gators
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    Gators
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    This part of the beach was loaded with service stations, fast food restaurants and souvenir shops. Only signs stood the test of Katrina's surge.
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    And there's some things you never forget seeing as a child... the SHARKHEAD!!
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    As you can see, it washed away as did the whole 1st floor and the structure beside it.
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    Remember that big mouth and those sharp teeth that you walked through to get inside the store?
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    random toilet... No telling where it came from
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    Closed long before Katrina, this restaurant was a MUST do when traveling to Biloxi. Eggplant Josephine was their signature dish. The owner, who is now 84, is in the works to reopen the restaurant after all these years.
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    Hard Rock Casino was just getting ready to have their official grand opening on September 1, 2005, 2 days before Katrina made landfall
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    Well, that didn't happen, of course. And there was a legal battle that ensued with reconstruction which delayed the grand opening to June of 2007.
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    This area is where the President Casino barge washed ashore, crossed Hwy 90 and ended up on the other side of the street, taking down a few one story businesses in it's path. It was torn apart and sold for scrap pieces.
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    The 90 bridge leading to Ocean Springs folded like a deck of cards
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    When we traveled to this point, maybe it was from all the devastation that I had seen, I'm not sure... but, I just fell apart when I saw this for the first time. I mean, seeing this huge, long bridge just ripped like paper... I was speechless.
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    And the Biloxi Fisherman... a landmark for so many people. It took a beating during the storm and landed right beside the platform where it used to pay homage to all the Biloxi Fisherman who made the city what it is today.
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    Shortly after Katrina, it was stolen. And, through leads, they were able to track it down. The thief, charged with grand larceny, had cut it into 5 pieces and tried to sell it for scrap in Alabama. Little did he know that scrap yards don't really buy bronze.
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    It is still sitting in a storage facility in Biloxi where the mayor's office and the Maritime Museum can't decide what to do with it. It means a lot to a lot of folks in Biloxi because family's name were engraved at the bottom of it in honor of their fishing contribution.
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    Point Cadet parking lot was used as a camping site for those who came to get work cleaning up after Katrina and for those whose houses were destroyed.
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    Isle of Capri had some cosmetic damages on the front side of the hotel but, the back corner of the parking garage ended up in the Gulf of Mexico and the casino barge was crushed and destroyed
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    The Palace Casino barge ended up on its side and on the other side of the bay.
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    Casino Magic suffered severe damage and its casino barge ended up washing ashore and leveling buildings until it came to a stop 400 feet or so from its mooring point.
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    Nothing behind this Grand Biloxi entrance sign. It's HUGE barge had washed over and up Hwy 90 where it was demolished a few months later.
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    The Katrina Memorial - A monument that was erected by the team of ABC's Extreme Makeover Home Edition. The wall is 12 feet tall and shows the height of the storm surge that hit at the Town Green in Biloxi.
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    This part of the monument is constructed of items that were recovered from the rubble.
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    The Lighthouse suffered some cosmetic damage but the Lighthouse Pier and walkway was completely destroyed, with only a few pylons remaining after the surge.
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    And a common theme up and down Hwy 90... a big Thank You to everyone who helped and continued to help in the years following the storm.