Mississippi Recovering Much Faster Than New Orleans


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Wednesday, August 30, 2006 - 12:30am

Mississippi Recovering Much Faster Than New Orleans

One year after Hurricane Katrina came ashore, the shores of Mississippi are recovering exponentially faster than the city of New Orleans.  There are many reasons this is true.  For starters, Mississippi is above sea level, so although some towns were flooded initially, the waters quickly receded after Katrina came ashore.  Also, the scope of the tragedy in Mississippi is smaller, and thus more manageable than it is in New Orleans.


   The main reason, however, is the gaming industry.  Before the hurricane, the casinos were not allowed on land.  The laws did not allow actual gambling on the land, so the casinos were all located on floating barges just off the shore.  That turned out to be a very bad bet.  Almost all of them were destroyed.  The head of the gaming commission knew that to get Mississippi back on its feet, the casinos had to return.  So legislation was passed only weeks after the hurricane to allow casinos to build 800 feet inland.  The casino owners already had their hotels on land, so it was an easy transition for them to allow gambling inside the hotel.


A year later, 8 out of 12 casinos that existed before Katrina are now open.  This has allowed tens of thousands of people to be employed and has given people a reason to come down to Biloxi.  It has made a huge difference.


Mississippi still has a long, long way to go before they are fully recovered, but they are on the right track.  They are years ahead of New Orleans at this stage.


This video above shows some great footage of Hurricane Katrina as it came ashore in Mississippi.  It is taken from the Beau Rivage Casino.  It gives you an idea of what the coastline used to look like and the destruction the storm caused.


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