Friday, February 24, 2006
Our busted truck don't mean much
I was in Gulfport, Mississippi, the day before Katrina struck, preparing to cover the storm's arrival. Forecasts indicated the city of 71,000 would be hit by the powerful eastern side of the storm's eye wall. We knew the damage would be incredible.

Touring around Gulfport after the storm, we saw an entire empty beachfront where houses had once stood. Today, a half year later, the scene looks eerily similar.

The Gulfport coast, indeed, much of Mississippi's coast, is still full of wreckage. It looks like a bombing zone. FEMA trailers are set up all over the city. Many businesses in downtown Gulfport remain closed. Some still have blown out windows and shattered walls that appear frozen in time.

Our CNN vehicle was totaled the day of Katrina's arrival when a huge chunk of fence landed on top of us while we were sitting in it. We weren't hurt, but we were shaken up. It all seems so insignificant now after experiencing these last six months with the people of the Gulf Coast.
Posted By Gary Tuchman, CNN Correspondent: 4:23 PM ET
How can this be that after almost half a year there are still debris everywhere? It just goes beyong comprehension. It is just unthinkable that people's lives are put on hold for so long...
Posted By Anonymous Manon, Longueuil, Quebec : 5:46 PM ET
Those incidents may seem insignificant looking back, but at the time those of us watching at home hold our breath and feel our hearts skip a beat until we hear that everything is okay. If you're reporting at the time of the incident our screens usually go blank and we're left wondering exactly what happened. It's always good hearing everyone is fine. It's also good to hear updates on the people you interviewed immediately before or after the storm. Their stories stay with you and you often think of them and whether or not their situation has improved. Hope we'll hear some updates tonight on some of those from Waveland and elsewhere along the Gulf coast.
Posted By Anonymous Christina, Windber, PA : 5:47 PM ET
yeah it ain't over yet and another season approaches. There are thousands more FEMA trailers in Arkansas, but you may already know that. I guess the government just quit helping.
Posted By Anonymous Reg, Kansas City, MO. : 6:12 PM ET
Well, when the American public can be told truthfully that
the Government ATM is out of order and the idea that it has an endless supply of money is nothing more than a
conspired apparition, maybe reality will set in. You will find that the beachfront you mentioned will remain that way for quite some time and the only way it is going to get cleaned up and rebuilt is through the personal finances of the people who live there and with the assistance of the folks at the local Home Depots. The wake up call needs to be conveyed here Gary, because the harsh reality is that if a similar storm hits a different city, with greater economical importance, in the next year or 2, the ramifications will cripple the American economy. This administration has put your country so far in debt ($3 Trillion +) that it will never recover. Especially when the Iraq war is costing $3,500 a second and the deficit climbs on average, $2 Billion a day.
Posted By Anonymous Frank, Port Perry, ON : 6:18 PM ET
I'm glad to finally see someone reporting on the conditions in Mississppi. To listen to most of the news reports, one would think only NO was affected by the storm.
Posted By Anonymous carol, kansas city, mo : 6:29 PM ET
Since Katrina, I have definately come to appreciate all that I have a lot more. I won't ever take for granted again the comforts of having a house to come home to. I hope that everyone affected will be able to rebuild and get their lives back.
Posted By Anonymous Courtney, Chagrin Falls, OH : 6:31 PM ET
I have a thought here. What if every big news station in the country sent just one crew down to New Orleans and reported every hour on the hour until the country becomes so sick of it they either bang down the White House door telling them to fix this or they go fix it themselves?
No more BS about who the VP shot.
No more about secret wiretapping that is going to go on wether we like it or not.
No more tragic stories about floods or collapses in other parts of the world when we can't even handle our own.
No more HollyWood BS about who is dating who, who's pregnant, who's on drugs, who's gay, who's getting arrested and who's wearing what.
There are only two things this country should care about right at this moment.
Hurricane Katrina victims and the selling of our souls to the UAE.
Posted By Anonymous Theresa Costello, Immaculata, PA : 6:35 PM ET
New Orleans, being larger got all the publicity. We all are aware, if we weren't before, the explosive nature of a big hurricane, and the resulting damage. People need to build better in that devistated area. We all feel for them and have contributed significantly to their cause, but we can only do so much, and the same for all governments. Be they local, state, or federal
Posted By Anonymous Rich, Council Bluffs Iowa : 6:54 PM ET
Thank you for doing the follow-up on Katrina. We would also like to hear stories about people who have moved on and rebuilt their lives, if there are such stories.
Posted By Anonymous Grace, Santa Maria, CA : 7:05 PM ET
I have seen it take years here in the US Virgin Islands to rebound after a storm. The people here cannot evacuate. Those who can afford it, send their famiies to the States for school and work. There is a weariness, a shell-shock, that lingers long after the storm.
As for the lack of FEMA intervention, it is sad indeed.
Posted By Anonymous Sarah Shaw, Shelby NC : 7:08 PM ET
It kills me how everyone automatically expects the government to instantly wave some magic wand and fix things in three weeks. How long has Banda Aceh looked like a nuclear blast went off. When you create an instant dump yard, it takes time to fix. Because something bad happens does not mean you have won some sort of government lottery. I have finally found myself completely fed up with how everyone wants more money, more help, more handouts. Too often people take our governments bailouts for granted, or worse, take advantage of it. At this point we have to stand back and realize that what is being done is far and away more than any other country on the planet could, or would do for their people. In short, yes it takes time, be grateful for what you do have and for being alive.
Posted By Anonymous E. Smith, Holyoke, MA : 7:18 PM ET
Please interview MS and LA governors and the mayors of the gulf towns. I'd like to hear their plans for the future.
I have no problem providing a future for elderly and disabled individuals OUT OF MY TAX MONEY, but will CNN please ask some of the able-bodied evacuees on camera about their job-hunting prospects in the past six months. Thank you.
Posted By Anonymous Tina Chicago IL : 7:52 PM ET
You had better thank your lucky stars you weren't in New Orleans. As we all know, according to the national media, New Orleans suffered the brunt of Hurricane Katrina. The people in eastern Louisanna and the Mississippi and Alabama coast were merely inconviencened.
Posted By Anonymous Randall, Cantonment,Fl : 9:38 AM ET
I would like to comment regarding Hurricane Katrina and the MS gulfcoast. I was raised there and went through several hurricanes myself, including Hurricane Camille in 1969. That was the most horrible experience/memory of my life. I grew up on the coast watching the recovery and rebuilding to a wonderful place to live. I still have relatives and a lot of friends there. I noticed there have been comments made that MS residents didn't receive the brunt of Katrina, but was merely inconvienced, however that is far from the truth. My relatives have kept me posted and sent me many pictures that were taken by those that live there. I cannot imagine anyone stating such things as "merely inconvienced" for the people that live there. I know my relatives have really bragged about everyone from all over that has gone down there to help out, but there are still so many that have so little if anything left to start all over again, but in time and with a lot of work, they will recover.
Posted By Anonymous Rhonda Greenwood, AR : 11:32 AM ET
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