Sen. Lott Revisits His Destroyed House - - Jackson, MS

Pascagoula 08/29/06

Sen. Lott Revisits His Destroyed House

By Bert Case

The home of Mississippi U.S. Senator Trent Lott, a Republican from Pascagoula, was built in 1854 and had survived every hurricane since that year, but Katrina was too much for it. 

Lott is sentimental about the homesite because he used to ride his bicycle to a spot across the street from it and look at the Gulf of Mexico when he was a youngster growing up in Pascagoula.  "I always loved this house," he said. "I used to ride my bicycle down (to the beach).  I'd sit on the seawall."

When he went back to the site of house August 17, 2006, almost a year after the hurricane, he found some of his wife's jewelry in what used to be his driveway. 

Lott said the house, he had purchased in 1984 was paid for.  He said, "When Tricia and I first got here, we parked right here and then we walked over and hugged the big mama oak tree, together we shed a few tears.   The water was 21 feet right over there at that tree." 

Lott has not made a decision about rebuilding, but it is clear he wants to.  He is awaiting the outcome ofhis lawsuit against State Farm Insurance.  He said, "You know I am not a wealthy man, you know what I have been doing for the past 34 years.  I haven't built up a lot of wealth.  But, you know this house was the one thing I had paid for."

Lott believes he did the right thing, in allowing his brother in law, famed attorney Dickie Scruggs, to sue State Farm.  He said, "For them to come back and say you had no wind damage, when they paid me for wind damage, twice since 1984, for wind damage from hurricanes one half the velocity of this one. "

 Lott says he became very sad and even a little bit depressed when he first saw his home was gone, because so may irreplacable items were lost, but his daughter Tyler Armstrong, put it all in perspective.  He said, "I was whining and my daughter Tyler said dad, it's only things.  I thought what an incredible woman to see things that way and you know she is right." 

So, Senator Lott, like so many other Mississippians, is waiting to see how much money he gets from his insurance company before making a decision to rebuild in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.  He said, "Like everybody else down here I refuse to be defeated by this devastation, and we plan to come back."


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