Day 1: Arriving In Gulfport/Intro to the Gulf Coast

Yesterday (1/22), I got into Gulfport later than planned: my connecting flight from Atlanta to Gulfport was delayed, and I had to change my car rental because of some problems I had with my original reservation. I was fortunate that Gayle Tart met me at the airport, because I don’t know if I would have succeeded in changing the car rental without her help.

Gayle met me at the airport, along with Carland Baker, a retired veteran. Both Gayle and Carland are African American residents of the area. Gayle was raised in Gulfport and lives there now. Carland was living in a beach front housing complex in Longbeach. His townhouse was completely destroyed. He lost everything he had and is now living in a FEMA trailer on the local army base. Gayle is the person who urged me to make this trip.

I followed Gayle and Carland out of the airport to where they could drop Carland’s car off, in the Wal Mart parking lot on Rt. 49, the road that runs north-south, through Gulfport, starting at Rt. 90, which runs east-west, along the length of the Gulf Coast.

Gayle and Carland got into my rental car, and we drove down to Rt. 90 and then headed east, along the coast, through Gulfport and into Biloxi. It was already getting dark when we started. This dimly lit introductory tour was just an initial taste of the coastline which is decimated across the entire length of Mississippi and into Mobile, Alabama.

While in Gulfport, we went slightly north for a stretch of 2nd Street, an exclusive, wealthy area, now mostly a mixture of rubble, houses with walls and roofs pushed in, and mashed cars. Further east on 90, as we got into Biloxi, entire casinos on barges had been carried by the surge of water out of ocean and onto dry land on the north side of the highway.

More details later, perhaps. I need to tell some of the details of what I saw today.

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One thought on “Day 1: Arriving In Gulfport/Intro to the Gulf Coast”

  1. Greetings Ben,Glad to hear you made it down and are off to a busy start. Are you able to post photos to the blog? It would be great to have some images.Looking forward to your future posts.

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