16 January 2006

Aerial Photo du Jour: Holly Beach Post-Rita (RTMB)

Holly Beach, Winter 1998
Holly Beach, September 2005
Click on images for larger version.

I read an article in the past few days mentioning that many on the Mississippi Gulf Coast feel like they've been abandoned and forgotten as all the post-KTMB media attention has been centered on New Orleans. I sympathize with our neighbors in Mississippi, many of which are expatriate New Orleanians--especially in Hancock County. Even more forgotten in all of this is Southwestern Louisiana which was battered with Hurricane Rita (RTMB) three weeks after KTMB. The community of Holly Beach (in Cameron Parish southwest of Lake Charles) before the storm consisted of several hundred buildings and mobile homes. As the post-RTMB illustrates nearly every structure was decimated by the storm surge--the place was literally wiped off the map. Another area forgotten was the lower coastal portions of Terrebonne Parish 150 miles to the east of Rita's landfall. The south wind that accompanied Rita blew for days and days pushing the Gulf of Mexico into the coast. Terrebonne Parish alone had 9,000 structures flooded in the days following Rita's landfall. The baseline for flooding damage in Lower Terrebonne had been the slow-moving, heavy rainmaker Hurricane Juan in 1985 which was unquestionably eclipsed by Rita.


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