Hurricane Katrina


BAY ST. LOUIS - It's the Saturday before Holy Week, and Felicity Street, the threshold to Cedar Point, is alive with work crews. Orange vests are everywhere and condemned homes, the owners of which signed ROEs months ago, are finally being demolished.

Charles Lucas, whose home was gutted but survived the hurricane, says he thinks it must be the result of an ultimatum he heard had been issued at a recent City Council meeting.

"I think they told the Corps (of Engineers) to fish or cut bait," he said.

Crews showed up a few days later to take down homes all around Lucas, including his mother-in-law's, which had lain in ruins next to his own since Katrina.

Things have moved forward since October. Lots piled high with debris six months ago have been cleared, making the landscape appear barren, and small white trailers (FEMA and personal) dot most of Cedar Point. On many plots of land, hand-lettered signs speak to dissatisfaction with insurance companies.

It is hot. Gnats nip at every bit of exposed skin, yet homeowners rake and haul and look to the future.

"Mr. Bill" Tudury,who spoke to the Sun Herald in October, moved out of his tent and into a FEMA trailer days later, but his winter was hard, filled with one sick spell after another.

His neighbors Ed and Dolores Elizondo found they needed more room for themselves and their teenage children, so they bought another trailer and are "back to stay," refurbishing their gutted home.

Life remains less than perfect on Felicity Street, and most residents are disgruntled but steadfast.

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.

What Katrina did

The hurricane leveled most of Cedar Point as it did Point Cadet in Biloxi. The devastation is all the more noticeable now that debris has been removed. A sadly missed historic landmark is St. Joseph's Chapel on Dunbar Avenue, built in 1896 and destroyed by Katrina.