Katrina's ground zero is rebounding - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Katrina's ground zero is rebounding

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WAVELAND, MS (WLOX) -

By Michelle Lady - e-mail

WAVELAND, MS (WLOX) - Katrina came ashore and washed away, leaving Waveland ground zero. The storm devastated the town of 8,000, washing away all government buildings and businesses and about 95 percent of the homes.

Lives were lost and the city was left in ruins. But as Mayor Tommy Longo said, the heart, soul and spirit of Waveland's 4,500 residents remains strong.

Five years later, Waveland has broken ground on government facilities across the city. The Waveland Civic Center was the first building in the state to be completed with 100 percent Katrina relief funds.

The city has spent $100 million to replace utilities and rebuild streets. Another $20 million went to restore buildings and about 75 percent of that money was funded by FEMA.

Businesses continue to open their doors throughout the city, but many independent businesses remain lost. City officials hope that will soon change when the new business incubator is complete.

Mayor Longo said Waveland has much in store in the coming year and he hopes more families to return and rebuild so his city can grow.

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