The Gulf and golf drew Diane Quinn and her family to St. Andrews. Their house at 600 Tantallon Drive sat on the 13th fairway, with a view of the green and the sea. |
Diane realized hurricanes might bring water, so she kept her most precious possessions - photographs, yearbooks and baby books for son Thomas - in a watertight container.
The Quinns opted not to evacuate for Katrina because they'd done that for Ivan and ended up in a broken-down car. Besides, the storm was headed to New Orleans, not their far section of Jackson County.
At 7:45 a.m., as water crept up the yard, she placed the precious container on the dining room table. The garage door buckled, cancelling that escape.
"We picked up the dog and walked out the front door to the neighbor's across the street," she said. "I was certain everything below the dining room table would be ruined, but I had no idea the whole house would disappear.
"I think what really bothers us is that we don't know what happened to the house, whether flood or wind, but where we went across the street had only 8 inches of water inside. There were whiteouts so we couldn't see and then at 10, when there was a clear spot, the house was gone."
Diane, husband Thomas and their namesake son moved from Boston in 2001 when he retired from the IRS. The parents were ready to move after the storm but the younger Thomas wants to graduate from Mercy Cross High School. After five months in a borrowed travel trailer at the end of their St. Andrew's driveway, the Quinns bought a house in a new North Biloxi subdivision.
"I'm glad we didn't move," she said. "I think now we will spend the rest of our lives on the Coast. As far as whether we stay here in Coventry Estates or rebuild in St. Andrews, we just don't know. We need to get healed first, and we're doing that because we finally have a home. My heart breaks for people still in limbo."
- KAT BERGERON