After August 29, 2005, those who live on the Gulf Coast knew that their lives would never be the same. Whether this was due to the emotional baggage that resulted or to the continuing life stressors that have occurred in the aftermath, one year later, residents and business owners are struggling to make financial and emotional ends meet.
Since Hurricane Katrina struck, much has changed in the affected towns, but even more has remained the same, causing those who decided to stick it out to wish for healing and closure. Unfortunately, as the 2006 hurricane season began on June 1, many felt like these will be a long time in coming. Threatened with another six predicted hurricanes, Gulf Coast locals are preparing for the worst, while hoping against hope that lightning won’t strike twice. The National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has predicted four to six potentially major hurricanes—Category 3 or higher—for the North Atlantic region.
However, the area is not ready—both physically and emotionally—for another storm. Chuck Kelly, owner of Chuck Kelly Salon and Spa in Gulfport, Mississippi—one of the hardest-hit coastal areas—doesn’t even want to think about it. “Even if we have a near miss, it will do tremendous damage to people’s psyches,” he says. Since the original article, which appeared in the December 2005 issue of Skin Inc. magazine, Kelly notes that much has stayed the same, with housing and staffing being the biggest issues. “Life is not a lot of fun right now,” he adds.