Friday, September 23, 2005

Gulfport and Biloxi, Mississippi

So I went to Mississippi and took a look around and drove bags of ice to people who needed them and handed out pads.

Ice is worth it's weight in gold in Southern Mississippi right now and many people who need it are unable to get to distribution points because of lack of transportation. Some people never had cars and many, many people lost their cars due to the storm so I drove through the neighborhoods giving out ice and bottled water to those who needed it, which was almost everyone. I just picked up the ice and water at a distribution point on the main drag and would go back and stock up when I was out.

I met up with a group of doctors and nurses who just found each other after having come down to see if they could help. They formed a group of about 20 people- nurses, doctors, security, helpers- on the fly and drove around going door to door in MS offering medical assistance. I met them on Saturday and dropped off supplies that I'd brought down.

Then, on Monday when Manny flew down, we followed them on their route for a little. Manny and I were there on an off day. They were slightly disorganized and disgruntled after some tiff about RN or LN registration stuff that I didn't really understand.

giving tetanus shot2-1web copy
They would give tetanus shots to whoever needed them. This woman was just walking by and asked for one when she saw the van.

We drove around and took some photos and distributed some of the over the counter medicine that I bought and Manny brought down on the plane: tylenol, asprin, diaper cream, etc. People always just took what they needed, which was pretty amazing.

I was happy I could go and help out even for a day. I want to go back at some point, for sure. Those folks are in for a long haul.

I took some photos, not a ton, though. None are color corrected yet, but I wanted to put them up.
I am too overwhelmed by the trip to know if I have any good photos. These are mostly documentation, not fancy fine art and shit.

yellow building fema help-1web copy

woman who lived through storm in front of fema trailer11-1web copy

This woman stayed in Gulfport during the storm and had to leave her house in waist deep water and get to higher ground. She stayed in this same house during Camille and was sure she'd be ok. She told me that the storm was at least 12 solid hours, it started at 5am and kept on until 5 or 6 pm. I hadn't even thought about how long the storm would be going on. This lady was awesome. She's now living in front of her destroyed home in a little FEMA trailer. Her home had never flooded before but during this storm she had about 6 feet of water in her house.

windows blown out venitian blinds3web copy

ventilation ducts in hancock building-1-1web copy

tv on 2nd floor1web copy

philadelphia tattoo2-1web copy

This guy got his tattoo in Philadelphia, in Chinatown. How is possible? I don't know. He's lived in Biloxi for over 30 years.
We started to talk and he told me he'd been in Philadelphia before. He was 16 when he got the tattoo and had borrowed a fake ID to get it. When he got in the chair, the tattooist asked him if he wanted the name "Mike" or "Michael" on his arm which was the name on the ID. This guy said how about my girlfriend's name, "Jerry," which is actually his name. He ended up with hearts adorning the name instead of the stars that men usually get with their names. He's also living in front of his destroyed home in a little FEMA trailer. His home didn't flood but the roof blew off and the rain and wind destroyed everything inside.

black mold house6-1web copy

tree on car9-1web copy

shirts and pants hanging2-1web copy

dairy queen sign4-1 Gulfport MSweb

trucks piled up8-1web copy

mcdonalds sign warped15-1web copy

sharhonda6-1web copy

quick cash pawn7-1web copy

looters wil be shot3-1web copy

pictures drying outside5-1web copy

lawn jockey8-1web copy

just foundation2-1web copy

overturned billboard on 10-1web copy

gulfport woman's home spelling achievement award-1web copy

gulfport woman-1web copy

green home with no roof5-1web copy

happy birthday kid on porch-1web copy

gulf towers apts mom were ok4-1web copy

funeral home2-1web copy

drying money-1web copy

billboard with woman hanging down 16-1web

collapsed building white2-1web copy

blue house w- partially uprooted tree6-1web

clothes distribution17-1web copy

boz scaggs billboard as roof3-1web
Many people repaired their roofs with vinyl billboards that had blown down from the billboard frame.

contents outside3-1web copy

As far as you could see, the houses that were still standing had all of their contents piled up outside to be picked up as trash within the next couple of weeks. Hardly anything could be salvaged if the home was flooded.

collapsed home5-1web copy

bar- wall mirrors8-1web copy

clothes in lot gulfport3-1web

beware of snakes day8-1web copy
These cars had been submerged and snakes were living in them

barge casino on land3-1web copy
This was a barge that had floated inland and landed on the north side of highway 90.

passing supplies12-1web copy


Anonymous said...

Amazing shots... and very sobering. "A long haul" isn't even close to what these people will have to deal with, apparently. Bravo for documenting, and more importantly, going down there to help out.

ZS said...

Thanks, I recently got this grant that allows me to do what I want right now and I couldn't be any more happy to have had the cash and the time to go. I'm eager to go back.

Writer and Nomad said...

as i've said before, i really like your photos. it is inspiring to see you do what you do. makes people on the bottom feel like we can do it too.

Anonymous said...

Great pics. Keep it up.

Neil MacLean said...

amazing work, you've got a great eye (obviously) and I wish I'd gotten off my own ass and gone down there as well.