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Total Devastation

Total Devastation

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Photos © Jim Raycroft

Five days after the landfall of Hurricane Katrina, PMY senior editor Bill Pike and photographer Jim Raycroft went to Mississippi to cover the aftermath of what the New York Times is calling “the most astonishing storm story of a generation.” The pair chose to focus on the recreational marine community, of course, visiting the remains of marinas and boatyards and talking to numerous local people who had survived. They spent time in and around Biloxi, with its numerous casinos thrown ashore and gutted, in Gulfport, with what seemed like hundreds of shipping containers and container trailers scattered inland as if by a shotgun blast, and finally in the once jewel-like little town of Long Beach, which perhaps suffered the most cataclysmic kind of damage due to its location just thirty miles east of where Katrina’s eye came ashore.

The devastation was stunning. Pike covered the aftermath of Hurricane Andrew for a publication in the early 90s and he characterizes Katrina’s ravages as “infinitely aworse by comparison.” While the extent of the destruction was mind-boggling after Andrew’s passage, that particular storm left the remains of marinas, marina buildings, and boats.

Katrina left nothing. It was as if the storm’s 30-foot tidal surge simply scoured out everything--boats,  buildings, and, in the case of Long Beach Harbor, seemingly the very concrete of the marina itself.

A full story on the aftermath of the storm,  with many of Raycroft’s photos, will appear in PMY’s November issue. A sampling of those photos appears here with brief captions written by Pike.

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This article originally appeared in the September 2005 issue of Power & Motoryacht magazine.

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