OCEAN SPRINGS — In the four years since Hurricane Katrina swallowed Barbara Lambert’s Gulf Coast house, her family has slowly rebuilt its life – moving out of a FEMA mobile home and to another city, finding a job for her husband and enrolling the kids in new schools.
Then, the recession hit.
The Lamberts and others along the hurricane-stricken region are struggling through renewed hard times as federal recovery dollars dry up and the recession chokes off jobs and charitable help. For the Lamberts, paying next month’s rent is the latest worry as a federal hurricane assistance program comes to an end.
The recession’s toll on a region still emerging from one of the worst natural disasters in the nation’s history can be seen in unemployment rates ranging from 8.6 percent to 11.1 percent in south Mississippi counties.