Katrina Ninth Anniversary: ‘We Had To Start Over’
|By Mary Perez, The Sun Herald|
|McClatchy-Tribune Information Services|
When the next hurricane hits the Coast, experts say,
It took a long time for the Coast to return after Hurricane Camille in 1969, and
"We really had to start over in many places," he said.
"We lost everything," he said. Putting his personal loss aside, he and other city leaders met at
volunteers quickly followed. "I've never seen anything like that in my life," he said of the outpouring of money and workers.
"We thought we were ready," said
"I don't think I have a shopping center to go back to," she thought when she saw the devastation on television the next day. One of the national networks broadcast photographs of the cupola on top of the outlets' food court tilted at 45 degrees. A representative of the company that built the cupolas saw the same pictures and called Meinzinger to ask if she wanted it replaced. "Start building," she said.
"The air-conditioning unit rolled onto the roof kind of like dice on a craps table," Meinzinger said. With the roof ripped off, rain poured into most of the outlet stores. Contractors brought building materials with them from across the country and lived in the parking lot. Employees chipped in.
"People were just strong, strong. They came to work when they didn't have a house," she said. Ninety days later, 40 of the outlet's tenants reopened the day after
Ten years won't be time enough to complete the recovery. Of the
MEMA's Latham said close to 87 percent of the federal money was spent to rebuild, and what remains are some of the complex projects.
"The money's going to be spent. We're just not going to leave any money on the table," he said.
The billions in federal money paid for elevating homes, buying up low-lying property and building hurricane shelters that are out of the storm surge.
"People are reluctant to evacuate too far from home," Latham said, and most of the emergency shelters are in
Communications also have been improved, with more than
C Spire fared pretty well in 2005, said
"If anything, there's even more reliance on wireless devices now," he said.
Nine years after the storm hotels, restaurants and a few houses are going up on the beaches of
It's been an unbelievable nine years, said
"That would have been our bust-out summer. It turned out a bust, that's for sure," she said.
She helped organize and open
"I thought it would be all back together and it's not," she said of
Despite the challenges
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