the slabbed shall rise again – take a look at Biloxi’s Isaiah Cannon!

Sop has been know to speak for slabbed and say, “folks don’t know who they’re messin’ with”.  Believe me, a lot more do tonight! You can bring ’em to their knees and they’ll still take a shot and score.  Biloxi basketball standout, now a freshman at Murray State, did just that and made the No. 1 spot on SportsCenter’s top plays.  h/t Rod Walker, Clarion Ledger


through many dangers, toils and snares

PASS CHRISTIAN, Miss. — When the saltwater receded and the people of this little town came out from attics and down from trees, they began to notice the peculiarities.

Hurricane Katrina, people noticed, had been mysteriously selective.

…But no peculiarity — or miracle, as some here are saying — was as remarkable, as chilling, as what was found inside St. Paul’s Church on Scenic Drive…

There in the wasted church, suspended over blocks upon blocks of rubble in all directions, was an untouched statue of Jesus on a cross.

The giant crucifix was attached to the ceiling by two thin wires that were visible up close. To the left and right were stained-glass windows depicting the Stations of the Cross. None was broken, though half the windows surrounding them were. Word spread quickly through Pass Christian of the miracle at St. Paul’s Catholic Church.

Yesterday, while searching looking for photographs from Pass Christian for a post on the Spansel property, I discovered one of the untouched statue of Jesus on a cross.  Call it a “peculiarity”  or a “miracle” but the news story quoted above was written by  Ben Montgomery who just happened to share the story with our reader Shirley late today.  This remarkable story, this remarkable coincidence, is a timely reminder of the faith that SLABBED has in the truth of the stories of the slabbed that others doubt.

With permission secured by Shirley – thank you – Ben’s story in total follows: Continue reading “through many dangers, toils and snares”

Caveat Emptor: Nightmare in Waveland. Good Karma for Sop

A couple trying to reclaim waterfront property devastated by Hurricane Katrina spent $206,500 for a home that is uninhabitable. To make matters worse, they have been evicted from the Mississippi cottage that sat behind the house. They had planned to be in the cottage until their home was rebuilt, but they ran out of time to finish.

Partners Robert “Bobby” Guercio Sr. and Carla Sue “Susie” Prescott also have exhausted their recovery funds. Both say they suffer from medical problems exacerbated by stress. Their home is a shell without drywall or interior finish work. A building consultant who inspected the house has found defects and code issues that he estimates will cost $144,265 to correct.

“We are so much worse off now than we were before Katrina,” Prescott said. “We were lost. We didn’t have a thing left, but we had hope. It’s like, now, there is no hope.”

Anita Lee has been writing a series of stories lately detailing the holes in Mississippi’s semi existent way of regulating home builders. I could name the states that do well and the ones that stink in the regulatory department (Mississippi allows unlicensed builders for instance) and being a construction CPA I was naturally attracted to the topic. I won’t go into all the Karma that culminated in this post beyond saying I met the couple that are experiencing the unlicensed builder nightmare today by pure chance. My advice to consumers is to be attracted to financial strength and longevity in the local market. And if after researching construction costs you get a price that is too good to be true it is only because it is just that. Other than that my only other advice is to never pay ahead of the work no matter what the sob story you are told. Established professional builders have the resources to buy materials on credit and float payroll for a few weeks so that substantial amounts of work are completed between draws.

Bobby and Susie didn’t do that of course and now they pay a terrible price. Susie still exudes an aura of hope, at least in the public setting that we met today. Bobby mostly rolled his eyes and shook his head at their predicament. The slabbed know people like Bobby and Susie as ‘tweeners, not poor enough to get the freebies but not wealthy enough to afford flood mitigated to code construction required by the post Katrina world as we continue:

Like so many others, Guercio and Prescott hired a builder who lacked the contractor’s license he needed to oversee construction of a home. He was able to build the house because Mississippi law allows property owners to apply for and receive their own building permits.

A residential builder needs a contractor’s license to construct any home valued at more than $50,000. Waveland Building Official Brent Anderson said homeowners often are convinced they can save money by pulling their own permits. Anderson said he sees too many homeowners pay dearly instead.

“That’s the worst thing a homeowner can do,” Anderson said. Continue reading “Caveat Emptor: Nightmare in Waveland. Good Karma for Sop”

The pain is just not mine – an echo of CresentCityRay

But when you’ve worked hard all your life, and you have a spouse that’s done the same, and you’ve got goals that you’re working for and you think you’re covered, then you find out that it’s not happening, you’re not covered, or so to say. The help that you were planning on that you were paying for all those times, it’s not there. It’s very depressing.

The pain is just not mine, wrote CrescentCityRay –  and it is not.  Listen to the echo as another story of post-Katrina mental health continues.

I became stressed the minute I found out my home was gone. I saw it on the — on TV in Alabama. And they had an up-in-the-air shot, and they went over Long Beach Oaks. And I seen that every house there was gone in that little area. So, I knew mine was gone too. And that was upsetting.

But, you know, we still thought Nationwide was going to take care of us. So, I really didn’t get that depressed over it. It was stuff. It wasn’t our life. I was happy that John and I and my little dog had gotten out okay. But once Nationwide started messing around, I got a suspicion that they were trying to get out of it because of the way I was being treated by them. I asked them when they went out to review it to — when they sent people out, I asked them to let me know in advance, and they never did. They would call me after it was done. It looked like they were avoiding me. And that was upsetting.

But when I got the letter of denial, I went into depression. And my husband, he was worse, and he — I felt terrible, and then I would see him and how he was reacting to it, and it was just very depressing for me for myself.

I didn’t know what we was going to do. I didn’t have the answers. I cried. I had a lot of headaches. I went around crying all the time. I didn’t know what I was going to do. We was living for the moment. We had no future, no plans, no anything. Continue reading “The pain is just not mine – an echo of CresentCityRay”

Housewarming – heartwarming, too!

So glad I stopped by Editilla’s Ladder or I would have missed the post he hung from our neighbor Y’all politics: Governor Barbour Announce New Affordable Housing Units. (make that h/t a double!)

An additional 128 affordable housing units officially open this week in D’Iberville, the latest in a series of such projects helping South Mississippi families recover from Hurricane Katrina.

Governor Haley Barbour said the Estates at Juan de Cuevas Apartment Homes is the latest project partly funded through Mississippi’s $5.4 federally-sourced Katrina recovery package, secured by Governor Barbour and administered through the Mississippi Development Authority (MDA) Disaster Recovery Division.

“More than 1,000 new affordable housing units have opened since spring, and more are on the way,” Governor Barbour said. “As we approach the fourth anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, I want to reiterate this is all part of a $3.8 billion commitment to restoring housing stock along the Coast, ensuring that South Mississippians can continue rebuilding their lives after the worst natural disaster in American history.” Continue reading “Housewarming – heartwarming, too!”

With Post Katrina Mental Health on my mind

Katrina claimed another person this past Monday, at the railroad crossing not far from the street where I plan to rebuild:

The death of a pedestrian found at a Waveland railroad crossing early Monday has been ruled a suicide, authorities said.

Waveland Police Chief James Varnell said Joan Edna Murphy, 54, of Molokai Village in Diamondhead, was dead when public-safety workers arrived at the train crossing near Waveland Avenue. Murphy was struck by an eastbound freight train.

A CSX Railroad employee notified authorities seven minutes after midnight. Police, fire rescue personnel and an ambulance crew responded. Continue reading “With Post Katrina Mental Health on my mind”

Who is telling the story Part Deux: Anita Lee clues in the nation’s Governors

So before I pull out to mow my empty lot on the post Katrina coast let’s link Anita as she tells our story in Dear Governors, Our Katrina Story:

Empty lots graced by Live oaks sit along our shoreline.

Mile after mile for 75 miles it is the same. Hurricane Katrina claimed the waterfront mansions of the wealthy, poor neighborhoods, water parks, churches, condominiums, souvenir shops, restaurants, parks, town greens, entire communities, the hearts of Waveland and Bay St. Louis and so much more. None of the 11 municipalities and three counties on the Coast escaped damage.

We cried as we surveyed mountains of rubble on Aug. 30, 2005. Splintered pieces of our homes, our furniture, our memories, built those mountains. But we didn’t cry long for our material losses. We were grateful to be here.

In Mississippi, 167 people lost their lives. We cried for a woman who cared for the mentally handicapped during the storm, returning home to Pass Christian the next morning to find her husband and toddler dead. She wrapped her baby in a blanket and waited hours for help on her front porch while her husband’s body lay inside.

We cried for the elderly Bay St. Louis woman who had rebuilt her business after Hurricane Camille, a Category 5 in 1969. She refused to budge from her recliner as the house collapsed around her and her family in Katrina.

“I’m too old for this,” she said as the others were forced to swim from the second floor without her. The family Labrador stayed by her side. They drowned together. Continue reading “Who is telling the story Part Deux: Anita Lee clues in the nation’s Governors”

Slabbed welcomes Wayne Weiser: “Why Katrina was the fault of man’s malfeasence”

Mr Weiser is retired after thirty nine years with US Army Corp of Engineers in the New Orleans district. He has compiled a boatload of research and given his experience with USACE his perspective is interesting in light of the ongoing NOLA area flood control rebuilding and MRGO litigation.

I’ll also add that while we have been highly critical of FEMA at times we also greatly valued the input we received from rank and file FEMA employees as we welcome all viewpoints here at Slabbed. While we are primarily insurance and legally oriented we have a big enough tent to include NOLA flood control as a topic.  If you are with the USACE and are moved to comment we’d love to hear from you. – sop

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