Aftermath of Hurricane Katrina--Pictures, Thoughts and Rants on a Deadly Killer!

These are pictures I've taken out and about in Ocean Springs, MS. No pictures are "borrowed" from the web. I have sent some pics in to the local newspaper via e-mail for publication, but all of these photos were TAKEN BY ME PERSONALLY, unless otherwise noted. I've lived in OS all of my life, and these are the first scenes I captured when I returned from Tallahassee, FL after Fleeing Hurricane Katrina. Come back often, as I have over 70 photos, that need to be uploaded!!!

Sunday, October 09, 2005

FINALLY: A Ride Down Biloxi’s Hwy 90

FINALLY: A Ride Down Biloxi’s Hwy 90

I have finally gotten a chance to do what I’ve wanted to do since the day after arriving home from Tallahassee, FL on Sept. 1st. I got to ride down Hwy 90. I was able to “sneak” onto Hwy 90 at Beauvoir Rd near the Biloxi Coliseum and drive all the way to the foot of what’s left of the Biloxi/Ocean Springs Bridge. I then turned back, made my way to Oak Street near the Grand Casino Bayview Hotel, up to Howard Avenue, to Irish Hill Drive, and back over to Pass Road. I repeated the trip on Friday, October 8th with camera in tow. This time, I had an “official” escort, and was a passenger so I was able to take photos. Our route was I-110 to Hwy. 90 West to Debuys Road, then back East to the Bridge and did a “U-ey” to I-110 for the return to Ocean Springs. I have to say this: the perspective is so much different than anything that an aerial photo or even just a photo can do. To see it for oneself is almost overwhelming.

I had this overwhelming need to see for myself what this monster “Katrina” had done. The area as I knew it growing up, and on my leisurely drive in to work every day is no longer there. To look at it is gut-wrenching. The Harbor in Biloxi where my Dad sold his seafood, gone….across the street…the hospital where I was born…gone. Next door to that…a very small hotel, where my sisters ALWAYS book a room for two nights to enjoy Mardi-Gras without the pain of having to worry about traffic….gone. The Biloxi Town Green where we always stood to watch the beloved floats carrying friends and their friends and children on colorful Mardi-Gras floats….gone!!! And that’s only one short block….it goes on and on like that for block after block after block up the entire Beach Drive.

Did I have any clue that when I left work on Friday, August 26th that would be my last drive home as I had known it? NO!! At the time I left work, Katrina was only a Tropical Storm, and was forecast to hit Florida. After all, what hurricane that has threatened, hasn’t hit Florida in the last three years?? Would I have EVER imagined that the devastation that befell the Coast could be this bad? …NO WAY….not EVEN after hearing the stories did I get it! I had to SEE IT! And SEE IT I did!!! Here are some photos for you. As I said…until you see it, you really don’t get it…but it’s just another take, another perspective, another personal tale of the devastation they have seen.
NOTE: To see any picture up close double click on the picture!

The Biloxi Lighthouse still stands as a beacon of hope!!

This is what’s left of the church at the Seashore Methodist Assembly!

The children’s park at corner of Miramar (street/avenue??) and Hwy. 90 took a terrible hit!

This WAS the Roadhouse Grill on Hwy 90.

The “Other” Pink Souvenir Shop which is a sister shop to Sharkheads. This one was noted for the huge Gorilla that it had out front.

This is what’s left of Landry’s Seafood Restaurant—simply put---NOTHING!

Heading now back East down 90….I had not seen this view of Treasure Bay Casino.

Treasure Bay Casino’s Gift Shop and Restaurant “land” based area of the Casino.

The remains of SharkHeads Souvenir Shop

I’m not sure why, but I especially liked this picture. (Perhaps it’s the blue sky!) An interesting fact: The guitar was built to withstand winds of 200mph….at least that’s word on the street….and as you can see, it fared EXTREMELY well. The Hotel and Casino were scheduled to open one week after Katrina hit.

What’s left of the Biloxi Harbor. As a child, I would accompany my dad to the various restaurants in the area to sell his seafood, and the Harbor was a place always on list to stop. Not far from the harbor, (PRE-Hurricane Camille) was Baricev’s Restaurant….the Beau Rivage parking garage now stands in it’s place. I can remember friends of my dad’s buying Corn Dogs for me…even when it was near supper time, knowing that whatever Mom had cooked, I have to eat again!

St. Michael’s Catholic Church by the Sea As you can tell, you can see clear through the church. From the aerial photos, I thought the church had done fairly well….WRONG!!!

I’m assuming someone put the statue of St. Michael the Archangel in front of the church. But after seeing all of the holy statues around the coast that ended up untouched, I wouldn’t be surprised if this is where the statue found itself after the storm. A great example is the picture I took at St. Claire’s in Waveland of Our Blessed Virgin. Even though the church and school were wiped out, her grotto was nearly untouched. See photos in the blog below. If someone knows the story of this statue, please respond. Thanks.

The Tivoli Hotel. I can only assume the damage on the upper floors is where the Grand Casino Barge hit it before coming to rest in it’s spot on property next door.

What remains of Jerry O’Keefe’s house. He was a former mayor of Biloxi.

This is what I refer to as the “Mardi-Gras” hotel. My sisters would always get a room for two nights during Mardi-Gras at this hotel next to the Santa Maria Retirement Apartments and across the street from the Biloxi Harbor Park. Next door to the East was the Biloxi Specialty Hospital which was the old Biloxi Hospital where I was born. That hospital has recently been demolished. When I passed it the other day, it was nothing more than a pile of bricks waiting to be hauled to the closest dump! Yet another one of my ties to my heritage destroyed by Hurricane Katrina!


Blogger Nerd For Life said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

7:10 AM  
Blogger KansasKrew said...

I have been following the "Find-my-mother" saga since the beginning, but have never posted anything. I found your site through that one. What great, but horrible, pictures. I went to Gulfport HS in '65 & '66. We lived in WoodGlen, near Courthouse Road & Highway #90. My next door neighbor, Bill Clay went to Biloxi HS. My husband were back in Gulfport in 1990 and I was amazed @ the changes then. I tho't it was sad how the casinos had taken over the beautiful coast. I know they are necessary, but wish they could be re-built along I-10 and the coast at least similar to the way it was. (sigh). Well, thank you for the pictures...I hope to be there again someday. Do you know if the old GHS is still standing? I heard the houses in WoodGlen were just damaged, but they are so close to the beach, I'm not sure I believe it.
Cristi (KansasKris on the other thread) You can email me if you'd like @
Ooopppsss I got deleted, will try again.

11:27 AM  
Blogger ceil said...

Excellent pictures

10:17 AM  
Blogger missy said...

Becky, these pictures are priceless. You have given people temporarily living out of the area an insight as to what it looked like after the storm. We only have a couple of pictures taken when we went back to get our belongings and now we have seen all the ones that we would have taken. St. Michael's is where we attended Mass every week. Thank you.


10:21 AM  

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