Teens see for themselves in Pearlington | AspenTimes.com

Teens see for themselves in Pearlington

PEARLINGTON, Miss. – The level of destruction in Pearlington isn’t quite what visiting students from Aspen expected.The small community has made enough progress in the 20 months since is was ravaged by Hurricane Katrina that no longer looks like it was hit by a nuclear bomb.Construction is under way on new homes or reconstructed homes throughout the area.However, a deeper look reveals other places that have been gutted and cleared of debris, but otherwise untouched. Here and there are houses that appear abandoned since the storm, still full of mud-coated and water-damaged personal belongings.”I thought it was going to be a lot worse than it is,” said Lacy Moore, a sophomore at Aspen High School.Teachers feel the students have thrived by helping people in desperate need. They have been split between three job sites throughout the week.”It’s cool meeting all the people and hearing the stories of what they did [to survive the hurricane],” said Austin Owen, a freshman from Aspen. One of her more memorable images is of a boat that ended up on a roof after the storm.Owen and Maclean said it was also startling to see the water line from Katrina on a basketball hoop backboard in a former school gymnasium that’s been retrofitted to house volunteers.Several students noted large Xs remain on walls of many structures that withstood the storm. The Xs, in permanent paint, were used by recovery officials to indicate level of damage and if any bodies were found inside.

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