Katrina summit finds plenty left to do

Those focused on our state's continued recovery help after Hurricane Katrina met in Hattiesburg Friday.

The Mississippi Statewide Long-Term Recovery Committee held a summit where county recovery teams — made up of various organizations, from the United Way to non-profit and faith-based groups — discussed unmet needs in their communities.

The 175 participants from different teams shared ideas about ongoing recovery needs and resources.

Those involved say while housing needs in Mississippi's southernmost six counties continue to be a challenge for residents, some citizens here in the Pine Belt are also struggling.

"If you look at Lamar County, Jefferson Davis County, Marion, Greene, George, Pearl River County, there was a lot of damage in those areas," says summit organizer Julie Propst. "There's still a lot of homes that have blue tarps.  There's a lot of damaged mobile homes, there's a lot of people that still have needs in those areas, so these long-term recovery committees are working together to gather funds to bring in volunteers to actually help to rebuild those areas."

The meeting also heard from a panel of representatives from the governor's office, MDA, FEMA, and others.

It was the first statewide long-term recovery summit since Katrina.