Mail for those who still have homes
Editor's Note: CNN correspondents report back on what they are seeing in New Orleans and other Gulf Coast communities hit by Hurricane Katrina.
'Damage varies by neighborhood'
CNN's Alan Chernoff stands in front of a pile of debris along the Biloxi, Mississippi shorline.
CNN's Alan Chernoff in Biloxi, Mississippi
More than 5,000 structures were destroyed by Hurricane Katrina in this town alone. The city has hired three separate companies and they are in the process right now of clearing up the debris. FEMA is paying for that. FEMA is giving the city 60 days to have it all done. Other essential services? They are slowly coming back. The sewage system? Pretty much working. Water? About 80 percent of the households in town do have some kind of running water -- not all of it potable.
Also we are talking about power systems. People do have power, but in many cases the power lines have been severed. Here, there used to be traffic lights, no longer. We have traffic lights down all over town as well as power [lines]. So it's scattered all over. Also the U.S. mail, they are saying that this week they hope to renew mail deliveries and of course, that is to the people that still do have homes.
New Orleans residents cling to memories
CNN's Gary Baumgarten in New Orleans, Louisiana
Many people can't understand why so many New Orleans residents refuse to leave their homes, flooded and surrounded with toxic waters. Mark Charlot, who has been camping out on high ground a few blocks from his flooded house says the reason is simple. Memories.
He says he represents the fourth generation in the same house. And he's afraid that if he leaves, he won't be allowed back and his house will be condemned and demolished.
Charlot has been using a boat to check on his neighbors who are staying in their homes. He says his neighbhorhood, near the Jefferson Parish line, is a strong community, where people pretty much know, and care about, one another.
He says they keep hearing rumors that, eventually, they will be forced to leave. He says, if he must go against his will, his first order of business will be to try to find family members who evacuated. Then, he says, he will try to sneak back through the police and military lines, and return to his home, his neighborhood, his memories.
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