Strongly rooted on the Gulf Coast

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April 16, 2006|By JERRY JACKSON | JERRY JACKSON,SUN REPORTER

Along 26 miles of coastal Highway 90 between Biloxi and Waveland on the Mississippi Gulf Coast, Katrina's devastation could be seen everywhere this month - countless steps leading to empty foundations.

But, there was also something else - trees. Live oaks, many well over 100 years old, still stand, now shading FEMA trailers. These gangly giants are an enduring feature of the coast. They survived Katrina as they did Camille and dozens of other storms.

In Ocean Springs, I came across a house that looked on the verge of collapse. Hanging in a grand live oak nearby was a tattered flag.

Eight months after Katrina, the leaves are back on the trees and many people are starting to rebuild. With another hurricane season looming, I am struck by the perseverance of the people of the coast and their trees.

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