Four years after Katrina, the Gulf Coast is still rebuilding

Biloxi Sun HeraldApril 26, 2009 

BILOXI, Miss. _ As the fourth anniversary of Hurricane Katrina nears, cities and counties along the Coast are starting and completing hundreds of projects that will improve South Mississippi.

Officials are reconstructing buildings, paving roads and adding recreational facilities, libraries and community centers, to name a few.

Residents here often complain the recovery isn't moving fast enough, but mayors and county leaders said that getting the money to start some of these projects is time-consuming.

They also said the recovery couldn't begin until the clean-up had ended.

"People don't realize that it took us between 18 months and two years just to clean up after Katrina," said Eddie Favre, the mayor of Bay St. Louis. "We couldn't even begin to think about recovery until after we picked up all the debris."

Biloxi Mayor A.J. Holloway agreed, adding that the architectural and engineering work on most projects took eight to 10 months, and then officials had to go through the FEMA process to get funding.

"We've been working on this since Katrina and now it's just starting to ramp up," he said.

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