Holly Beach recovery
Since we first visited Holly Beach, La. after it was destroyed by Hurricane Rita, it hasn't changed much. After more than six months, one permanent structure was recently built. It stores lumber.
Sonny and Loretta Meaux returned to resume their seafood business. They currently live in a travel trailer purchased with their entire insurance settlement. Otherwise, Holly Beach is largely deserted.
Resistance by insurance companies and FEMA as well as the lack of basic needs and environmental dangers make it nearly impossible for most to return to the place formerly known as the Cajun Riviera.
Photos by Mark M. Hancock / © The Beaumont Enterprise
A backhoe removes toxic debris from a drainage canal near Holly Beach in Cameron Parish, La. on Thursday, March 30, 2006. Because much of the state's resources and national media attention is focused on New Orleans, Cameron Parish remains largely neglected.
A backhoe removes toxic debris from a drainage canal near Holly Beach, La. Last minute preparations were made ahead of the Louisiana Governor's expected tour the area on Friday.
Sonny Meaux (right) uses a chainsaw to level fenceposts as a backhoe moves down his street in Holly Beach, La. He said his home was denied FEMA assistance because FEMA deemed the home - which no longer exists - "did not have sufficient damage."
Residents are beginning to return to Holly Beach in Cameron Parish, La. Officials backed away from a plan to buy all beachfront property and force residents to relocate.
A dead porpoise rots on the beach in Cameron Parish, La. near Holly Beach. Since Hurricane Rita, few people are around to report or respond to marine wildlife deaths.
Read "Amid the ruins" by Christine Rappleye.
Fayrouz had her camera and traveled with me. She posting on all three of her blogs. She's separated her coverage into animals, Catholic churches and Cameron Parish recovery.
For additional coverage, please see Hurricane Rita's toll on SW Louisiana or Mark's Hurricane Rita visual timeline.