Pascagoula, Mississippi is one of those places that’s really hard to spell. Maybe that is why FEMA and the assistance organizations are having such a hard time finding it.
Pascagoula is the county seat for Jackson County and had 26,200 people in 2000 according to its census. Here you can find the history of the city.
Michael is an electrician and a congressional candidate but a lot of what he is doing in Mississippi is assessing the housing needs of the clients Jim Yancey sees at Jackson County Community Services Coalition.
Michael (or Stetty) is working and living in an old school gym that is still set up as a shelter 19 months after Hurricane Katrina hit, but he is driving to houses all over Jackson County that are still not fixed up. He is helping to see what they need, and then other people help get it installed. There are also lots of volunteers and college students on Spring Break that help with the construction.
Some homeowners got some money from FEMA but they got ripped off by contractors and roofers. Some families have not gotten any money or not nearly enough money. Stetty reports that although 95% of homeowners have at least had their assessment done, he hasn’t seen any houses that are completely fixed from the hurricane’s wind and water. He has met many people whose houses still smell terrible from water damage and mold, and no one has cleaned up the mold or put in new carpets or floors.
Look at this map of Pascagoula.
The oval looking white area is where thousands and thousands of people displaced by Hurricane Katrina a year and a half ago still live in very unsafe trailer park. All of the blue squares are where people still have tarps instead of real roof for their houses.
More pix here (click to enlarge):