Bay St. Louis


When most people think of Hurricane Katrina, their minds immediately go to the destruction wrought on New Orleans. However, my hometown of Bay St. Louis, Mississippi is actually the site of Katrina's landfall.
The town is protected from storms by a high bluff overlooking the Bay of St. Louis, while New Orleans is protected by levees. Because Bay St. Louis is situated on higher ground, our streets drained more quickly than those of New Orleans after the storm subsided.
Despite the bluff, almost every building flooded, but in some areas the winds were even more devastating.
Due to Katrina, Bay St. Louis lost its last standing Antebellum home, the beachfront buildings were decimated, and some beachfront streets were actually crumbled by the storm surge.
Seen in this image is the original location of Hancock Bank. It and the surrounding buildings have been gutted by Katrina, despite having stood through many other storms.


“Bay St. Louis,” Hurricane Digital Memory Bank, accessed February 29, 2024,