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Off subject topic, re Hurrican Katrina

If any of you are still interested in the devestating effects of hurricane Katrina, I can direct you to an arial photograph of my neighborhood. It is located at :

http://mfproducts.nos.noaa.gov/storms/katrina/24330996.jpg

If you wish to locate my exact location, print these directions.

Scroll down the photo to the very bottom. On the way you can also scroll from left to right and see the distruction levels. You have to remember that this photo is taken with West to the top of the page, and North to the right!

So, as you scroll you will see the beach, and just to the right (North), all four lanes of US Hwy. 90, the old road that goes to New Orleans, with New Orleans being to the top of the photo. As you can see the Northern most lanes of the highway are covered in sand, but the Southern most lanes are clear.

As you scroll to the right or north, you will eventually come upon a dark straight line. This is the CSX railroad tracks, they are at about 25 to 35 feet above sea level. But back to the trail to my home.

If you have scrolled all the way down the photo with the beach and highway in your sight, you will then begin to scroll to the right/North. Crossing the highway you may notice the remains of a large home with a tennis court in the backyard. This home fronts the beach and a side street. This side street will lead you to my home. Scroll to the right up the street! You will notice that this street disappears from view and goes into the next photo, but do not worry, you will begin to see a brown area!

Just after the brown area, which is the lumber and other debris from the destroyed homes that used to exist South of this line, you will begin to see rooftops, and a short exposed section of a East to West Rd., as well as where it intersects with another South to North Rd.!

Just West or up in our photo you will see another road which disappears under debris where it meets the rest of the East to West Rd. which you have seen but just a section! Follow this second South to North (left to right) road to the right (North)! At this point you are about 1,200 to 1,500 feet from the ocean!

Looking at the roofs of these homes you would think they were OK, but you would be wrong, they are to a large extent washed out! Thats right, the wave of water washed out the walls of many of these homes especially the first three or four on both sides of the South to North roads. Follow this road to the right (North) and count the homes on the East side of this road! When you get to seven (7) stop! This is the Northernmost home that received water inside of it! This is the home of the sister of Robin Roberts of Good Morning America (ABC TV). The water of Hurricane Camile stopped just South of this home but Katrina went just past it. Maybe a matter of two feet higher.

Just to her right (North) you will see the house with the white roof and a retectangular swimming pool, on a corner lot. In the curve of the road you will see two vehicles parked in the yard. Directly North (across the street to the North) you will see and one of my automobiles parked in the street and two more in the driveway! My home is a little hard to make out because of the number of trees that cover it, but you may notice the brown retangular strip next to my oval swimming pool. The brown strip is my back porch, and the one piece of solid rubber roofing is in the swimming pool.

Behind my home is a eight foot six inch tall solid pine board fence that I built to be hurricane proof, after hurricane Georges destroyed my other one a few years ago. Although you cannot see it, it still stands, but my neighbor's eight foot tall fence is laid out on the ground and can be identified by the light tent of the light wood that has blown down from South to North. Then there is a ditch, then railroad right-of-way, the tracks themselves, and another road.

Follow the railroad to the West (up) until you see a black auto on the South Side of the tracks, and a light colored auto on the North side, with both of them sitting on the grass. Look just to the left and down from the black auto, which is my great nephew's car, and you will see a brown rectangle. This is our bridge, that was built by us, out of fallen fencing and plywood, to cover the drainage ditch that runs alongside the railroad tracks.

This bridge became our only way in or out of the neighborhood, for over 7 days, until the roads were cleaned of debris. Oh, by the way, a lot of the debris that you see are just some of the umptine thousands of automobiles and boats that were destroyed.

You have to realize that it would take Tiger Woods a driver, a three wood and a eight iron, to knock a golf ball into the Gulf of Mexico from my front yard. Believe me, that is a long way! And the water stopped just about 140 feet from my home!

But while you are at the site, look at all the other photos! They actually get worse the further West you go, and if you follow Hwy. 90 East, you will actually see the gigantic casio barges standing on, or nearly on, or over Highway 90 in places!

The main address for my area (Gulfport/Long Beach) is:

http://alt.ngs.noaa.gov/katrina/089E30D_KATRINA.HTM

Remember, in my neighborhood and South of it, the homes are all relatively new, say 1970 or later, and are of 1,600 sq. feet living area or larger say up to 3,000 sq. feet or so, and some of the wreckage you will see are condiminium complexes, etc. Further West the homes go into the 5,000 to 10,000 sq. feet size. In my neighborhood, I would guess the average home sold for $160,000 or more. A comparable home in parts of Florida or California near the breach, for example, would sell for $350,000 or more!

The larger homes on the beach will sell for $1,000,000 to $3,000,000 or more.

My home for example (built in 1970) has about 2,000 sq feet of living area, a two car garage, a court yard, a shop area, storage room and a swimming pool with a large security fence! I would be happy to get $160, 000 for it.

Go on! Look at the other photos! It goes on and on and on!!!!!! You can notice where the debris line is, it is the large brown river looking thing that runs from the top of your screen to the bottom in all the photos! The debis fields on there on are upwards of 400 or more feet long in places!

You know, they say "a photo is worth a thousand words!", but that does not apply here. The distruction is so large, so thorough, that you really have to see it with your own eyes to believe it. I see it every day and still have my doubts as to its reality!

So now, every day, I take a ride along my coast line, that was for 29 years a very familar sight, with new buildings going up on all the lots that had remained vacant since hurricane Camille had wiped them clean in 1969!

Yes, my wife and I had even remarked that we might live to see all of those vacant lots built upon before we died, but not now! Now we see tens of thousands of vacant lots and the time of them being filled with new life is one of the great unknowns!

But there exists one good thing about driving on the beach today. The traffic is really light!!!!!!!!!!!!!

So, now I've shown you mine! Are you able to show me yours? LOL

Regards,

Ron

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