Ray and Maureen Hudachek were forced to evacuate their home at 314 Jackson Ave. in Ocean Springs as Hurricane Katrina's flood waters rose. They rode it out in a cubby hole behind their garage.|
They survived, but their home, originally built just off the beach in 1860, did not.
"The only thing left was the kitchen and it had flood water, too," said Maureen. "We finally took that down."
The Hudacheks, living in a FEMA trailer and an out-back cottage, are going to rebuild.
"We have an architect and contractor," she said. "We'll require some extra strong structural work."
With 22-foot elevation, Hudachek, 79, thought they could ride out Katrina. The home had survived storms for almost 150 years. But the flood waters poured in from the marsh area behind the home and washed away everything.
"It had to be a 25-foot surge," said Maureen. "We were in the water for the entire storm," she added. "We took our mixed-breed lab, Mandy, and kept her head above water."
Their home stretched across 72 feet, with 100 feet of porches. It was built by John Egan, one the community's first postmasters. The Hudacheks, who came to the Coast with Chevron Refinery, bought the home in 1963 from a then-commander of Keesler Air Force Base.
"We have such a fabulous setting with such a view over to Deer Island," said Maureen. "It was a great place to raise two children."
- GARY HOLLAND