On Aug. 29, 2005, the little towns of Bay St. Louis and Waveland were virtually wiped off the map by Hurricane Katrina. There were few, if any, public buildings remaining from which the everyday business of government and commerce could be transacted.
This scenario was repeated across the Mississippi Gulf Coast in all 11 municipalities and all three counties. In short, life as we knew it ended.
Shortly after the winds of Katrina died down, Gov. Haley Barbour made his famous remarks about Mississippians pulling themselves up by their bootstraps. In Hancock County and across the Coast we took the governor seriously. Not only did we pull ourselves up by the bootstraps, but we rolled up our sleeves (and our pants legs) and cleaned up our communities. Then, we strapped on our tool belts to begin the task of rebuilding a decimated region.
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