Hurricane Katrina

ST. CHARLES AVENUE IN BILOXI: Katrina improved the view

BILOXI - The plastic angel has been put back on Jamie Correll's porch, and St. Charles Avenue looks cleaner than it did six months ago, when it lingered untouched for a few weeks following Hurricane Katrina.

Correll and neighbor Bonnie Lambert, who lives in a FEMA trailer across the street, stood on the porch of Correll's house recently.

Correll said the storm, although widely destructive, had some positives.

"We get good breezes," she said. "It is kind of like being on Ship Island."

The two said they had a better view of the water from their yards, near the corner of St. Charles Avenue and Wilkes Avenue, since the St. Charles Condominiums was knocked off its elevated platforms, leaving nothing but the large concrete legs.

Many of the temporary travel trailers have been removed from the sides of the streets, and some of the storm-damaged houses, which washed away from their slabs, have been cleared.

The little piles of branches have mostly been removed and so have the large barricades that stood where the road connected with U.S. 90. Now only one side of the road is blocked with a smaller, sawhorse-type barricade.

A couple of the houses on the street have been sold. One on the north end of the street, near Keesler Air Force Base, has a "for sale" sign out front and a padlock on the door.

Near the north end of the street, Dan Hebert and his son Nicholas Ponds stood recently on the porch of their home, fighting the gnats.

Hebert said the progress on the street came swiftly, as neighbors pitched in and helped each other clear their houses. He also said the city cleaned up the area quickly, and that Biloxi seemed to be ahead of other Coast cities in the recovery process.

The family's biggest frustration is having to go to other cities to find good meals, he said.

What Katrina did

On the south side of the street, homes were pushed from their foundations and crumpled and cars were deposited on lawns. On the north half, where the water stopped, the homes had roof damage and many trees fell.

The series

The Sun Herald this month continues its 30 Communities in 30 Days series, which looks at how area neighborhoods are recovering from Hurricane Katrina. We will update these stories every six months.