Hurricane Katrina not only smashed St. Andrews homes and the golf course but took down the water tower (lighthouse) which has been a landmark for fishermen in the Mississippi Sound.
"A new water tower is in the planning and engineering stages," said Greg Williams, president and owner of St. Andrews Water and Sewer Inc. The location for the tower has not been determined.
"St. Andrews is bouncing back," he added. "We had 502 families before the storm, and the count is up to 360 now."
Some have moved back into their homes, some are in FEMA trailers and many are still trying to get their homes rebuilt.
"We had our water system up and running within a week after the storm. It wasn't potable water at first, but it was necessary for families to clean up their homes," said Williams. "It was all so important to keep everyone's spirits up."
Williams cited "a fantastic response" from disaster assistance groups from the local, state and federal level.
The first nine holes of the golf course were among the first in the area to reopen and now all 18 are open, he said.
"St. Andrews was hit real hard, some homes totally destroyed and three-quarters flooded," said Jackson County Supervisor John McKay. "But they are coming back. Some aren't, but many are in different stages of rebuilding."
McKay said he got cooperation from FEMA and was able to get generators in operation there so families had water and sewer services.
"It will be a great community again," he said. "An adjoining area is already being developed."
- GARY HOLLAND