John Lockard and his family had always been wary of hurricanes approaching the Mississippi Gulf Coast.|
For the three storms prior to Katrina - Georges, Ivan and Dennis - John and his family had followed a set plan to take as many items from their beachfront home as the family vehicles would hold. Never having received major wind or water damage, as Katrina approached, they made the call not to pack everything up. They took a few changes of clothes apiece and moved inland to the La Font Inn on U.S. 90 to ride out the storm.
Even before the winds from Katrina died down, John and Terri Lockard, along with their two teenagers, ventured southward on Market Street in Pascagoula to see what damage the storm had done to their dream home. The first sign that things were not well at their home was the couch that normally sat on the second floor of their home was now two blocks north of where it should have been.
"I was in utter shock," said John when he first saw what was left of his house, located at 1505 Beach Blvd. in Pascagoula. "I could not believe what I was seeing." The wind and waves from Katrina had leveled their home leaving only scattered bricks and some of the flooring from the dining room area.
Undaunted by the destruction, Lockard never even considered building his new home anywhere else. Construction is scheduled to begin in November on what he describes as an "elevated concrete house."
Built to withstand winds above Category 5 strength, John said, "Another flood may get it, but not the wind. That's a chance we are willing to take."
- JOHN PARTAIN