The '60s-era ranch-style house at 120 Lafitte Drive truly received a double whammy.|
Bill Myers was brushing his teeth on June 15, 2001, when he was startled by a loud explosion, walked into his living room and found a small airplane fuselage in the middle of it. The mangled nose of the airplane stuck out the front of the house, and in the yard and street were more scattered pieces.
The pilot, on a commercial fish-spotting expedition, had a heart attack just before the plane crashed into the Myers home in Waveland. He did not survive and Myers, a lay Episcopal minister, gave him last rites.
It took several years to get the house back in shape again.
"I kinda think that God was preparing us for a total loss," said his wife, Linda.
On the weekend before Katrina, the Myerses packed themselves, Linda's parents who lived two houses down and all their assorted pets and evacuated because the house was within a block of the beach.
They returned to nothing.
"What we do next will depend on the good Lord and lawyers," said Bill Myers, a technical manager of a chemical company in Slidell. "I don't have any choice but to proceed. It's frustrating. All I want is a fair adjustment."
The Myerses said flood insurance is not enough to rebuild and that they believe the evidence of wind damage is substantial. But even if insurance pays on wind damage, the Myerses may not rebuild on Lafitte. Twice in one place is enough.
"We have a couple other lots in the Bay Cove area," he said. "They're right on the water and we could build high."
The Myerses enjoy the small-town, seaside feel of Waveland.
"We were living in Alabama when I got a job offer in the New Orleans area," he said. "We lived in Jefferson Parish about five years and just didn't like it but we didn't know where to go. We looked everywhere and there just was no place we liked.
"Fortunately some of Linda's co-workers invited us to come to Bay St. Louis for a weekend," he said. "That morning we walked around and said, 'Where in the world has this place been?' and the next week we were house hunting."
- KAT BERGERON