09/19/2005: In all our understandable astonishment about the destruction in New Orleans...
The important point here is what is meant by destroyed, since the media might mislead you by talking about homes being "destroyed" in New Orleans as well. Most homes (though of course not all) in New Orleans are "destroyed" because, although they are still intact, they have received extensive water damage and are now soaked with all sorts of toxic and dangerous substances and are therefore uninhabitable.
But the houses in Mississippi are "destroyed" because they don't exist anymore. I had the bizarre experience of driving around my own hometown, where I'd lived and worked for the first 23 years of my life, and getting lost. In some parts of Gulfport there are only massive piles of debris and bare concrete foundations, where neighborhoods and business districts used to be. I have not yet heard of a New Orleans native having a similar experience.
Len on 09.19.05 @ 08:00 PM CST