Waveland: A Year Later - MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS

Waveland: A Year Later

By Bert Case
bert@wlbt.net

The town of Waveland suffered a direct hit from the full fury of Hurricane Katrina. Nothing was left standing along the beach and people say the tidal surge was more than 30 feet high. Bert Case went back to Waveland, almost a year later to see what the recovery was like.

Hurricane Katrina was so powerful at waveland that it destroyed this house which was three stories high and had steel frame supports. The tidal surge reached the third floor and gutted it. It was like this all along the beach in Waveland and a year later very few people are building back.

50 year old Brian Mollere lived on Coleman Avenue in Waveland across from city hall. We first interviewed Mollere September 7th of 2005 when he told us about swimming on top of the tidal surge with one hand while he held his small dog Rocky with the other. We were up on what they call the surge and just went right over the trees. Both made it to safety. Mollere was living in a tent then, but shortly thereafter got a FEMA trailer. Almost a year later we found him in that trailer cooking supper. 

"I guess I could sell the place and move on, but this is home, you know, I've been here all my life."

Mollere is grateful for his trailer. "I am very cozy in it." But is frustrated that he cannot get the grant money promised by the federal and state governments to rebuild his home.

"It seems every three weeks they tell us they will be out in three weeks, they are coming 1500 grants a day, but I don't know of anybody on the south side of the tracks who has a grant yet."

Mollere lost his mother in the storm. She lived in Bay St. Louis, and he finds it hard to cope with almost a year later "I can't even look at a picture of my mother, yet."

Mollere has a friend who also lost her home in Waveland, 54 year old Joan Blackmer, who now lives next door in a temporary structure. "Well, it's a mess to get up and look at total devastation, there is nothing, everyting is gone for miles, and miles and miles."

Everywhere you look along Beach Boulevard in Waveland, this is what you see. Few people are rebuilding, this is all there is. 

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