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Eyes on Katrina

A South Mississippi hurricane journal

Saturday, September 03, 2005

Over to the Lighthouse 

I went over to the Biloxi Lighthouse today and thought I'd pass along this info. Pass Road is open all the way to Keesler, so you can get from Gate 7 at Keesler to the Seabee Base in a straight shot. Traffic eastbound moved well, just the normal stopping at each traffic-lightless intersection. It's coming the other way that there were minor problems, caused by the combination of a gas line moving around a power crew working on towers. It seemed to be a nearly seamless interaction, with cars moving wide into the middle turning lane at the Fayard's BP across from the President Broadwater Golf Course. I turned down Iberville to get down to Irish Hills, and I wanted to see if the home of the best steak sandwich on the Coast survived: The Project Lounge. The best thing to say is that what was also the Darkest Place on Earth now has a skylight. The part of the roof facing Iberville is ripped off, and if Katrina did any damage to that grill ... well, I can't do anything to her, but it'll be one more reason to hate her. Hate. Her. Going east on Irish Hill, it's not too bad -- in a highly relativistic way. There's damage, but nothing like I knew was coming. I went down until I crossed Howard because I wanted to go down Bianchi, where a former fellow employee who's back in town to help used to live. Their house was upright and that street was, relatively speaking again, OK. There was roof and siding damage, ripped up trees and the like, but folks were sitting on their porches enjoying a beautiful but hot day. We're all taking bundles of papers when we go out, so I handed some out on the drive over. But when I got to the beach, there wasn't much there to deliver to. It felt like something out of Planet of the Apes or something, remnants of an dead civiliation, the way the road looked. Except it had been grated to provide winding lanes across the median and back. I can't even describe how it wove back and forth, divided and undivided, but it wasn't difficult to snake your way through. It ain't going to be working during rush hour, though. The interview I was there for was delayed near the Lighthouse, so I grabbed some papers and went over to the intersection of Howard and US 90 and stood in traffic, playing paperboy. It's the best feeling I've had in a while. Folks kept reaching in their pockets and jamming dollar bills at me, but we're just giving it out. There's no other right way to do things now. After the interview, I finished handing out the papers and drove back. That's one of the best times to catch up on phone calls, so I talked to my mom. Hadn't talked to here in a few days. She's in Spanish Fort, Ala. Then, my aunt and uncle called from Laurel and that was the first time I'd talked to them. I knew they lost their house, too, and offered to start our own little trailer park there. I'm not thinking that far ahead yet. The one thing I got talking with people through their car windows was an absense of gloom. They know we've gotten punched in the gut, but they see signs that we're already rebounding. Things are good over here compared to Hancock County, but hopefully we'll all be climbing the big mountain of normalcy instead of getting pounded in the head by avalanches of misfortune. Here's hoping.

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Don Hammack

Don Hammack is a staff writer for the Sun Herald. He can be reached at

Sara Greer

Sara Greer is a news assistant for the Sun Herald.

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