The Hurricane Rita evacuation order for Louisiana's Cameron Parish was completely lifted on Jan. 7, 2006 - more than three months after the hurricane hit. Effectively, residents can return to rebuild their homes. However, they are still subject to a 6 p.m. curfew in a town without stores, fuel or most other common essential items.
Most parish residents have returned briefly to check their property and sign releases to have homes demolished. Consequently, there was no rush of homeowners to the area. They already knew their homes were unlivable.
Photos by Mark M. Hancock / © The Beaumont Enterprise
A flag waives near empty and missing homes in Johnson's Bayou, La. on Saturday, Jan. 7, 2006. Officials lifted the Hurricane Rita evacuation order on Thursday for the remaining parts of Cameron Parish. The restriction for Johnson's Bayou was lifted last Saturday.
Piers a few feet higher, an architectural change and luck are the only difference between destruction and salvage in Johnson's Bayou, La.
A note written by Eugene from Wichita, Kansas remains on a message board for Constance Beach, La. residents.
Frankie Mock (right) and his nephew Joseph Burroughs, 11, (left) walk near Mock's destroyed truck (foreground) at his home in Cameron, La.
Margaret Savoie (left to right), her daughter-in-law Tina Savoie and her son Charles "Chuck" Savoie collect keepsakes at Margaret Savoie's home in Cameron, La.
A truck passes a house parked on the side of the road in Oak Grove, La. Although most displaced homes have been removed from roads, those washed out of the way remain until owners claim them.
For additional coverage, please see Hurricane Rita's toll on SW Louisiana or Mark's Hurricane Rita visual timeline.