Hurricane Katrina Memorial in Biloxi MS

Matt Claiborne
August 27, 2021

The Hurricane Katrina Memorial is dedicated to the MS Gulf Coast victims who lost their lives.

Hurricane Katrina History‍

Hurricane Katrina hit the area on August 29, 2005. This massive storm hit the region as a Category 3 hurricane with 120 mph winds. The surge was 28 feet high in Bay St. Louis. A significant number of homes and businesses were destroyed by winds or entirely flooded by the storm surge. Locals who were unable to evacuate were rescued from rooftops.

Hurricane Katrina US Damage‍

City after Hurricane Katrina

Hurricane Katrina caused over 1,800 deaths and $125 billion in damage. It hit coastal Louisiana and Mississippi particularly hard. In some areas, the storm surge was as high as 28 feet, and wave action caused 30-plus foot waves to roll over land. The massive storm was 400 miles wide and impacted an enormous swath of land. After the storm, hundreds of thousands of people were displaced as their homes were damaged or destroyed.

2017's Hurricane Harvey and this storm are tied as the costliest storms on record.

Hurricane Katrina Biloxi Damage‍

In Biloxi, the damage was widespread. Highrise casinos had their first three floors damaged by storm surges and flooding. Restaurants were destroyed. Casino barges were pushed from their docks onto land and acted as battering rams against downtown hotels’ second and third-story floors.

The 12-foot storm surge in Biloxi covered downtown. The Biloxi-Ocean Springs Bridge was utterly destroyed, and Biloxi's iconic lighthouse was damaged.

Hurricane Katrina Biloxi Memorial‍

Hurricane Katrina Memorial

The memorial is 12 feet tall, commemorating the approximate storm surge Hurricane Katrina brought to the Town Green. The central part of the memorial was created from a large black granite block. The names of the 170 MS Gulf Coast victims are inscribed in black granite.

A white wall emanates from the black memorial wall. A mosaic tile inlay on this wall depicts a wave. In addition, the memorial holds a glass case displaying items from destroyed buildings donated by victims of the hurricane. Items include a flag that survived the storm, a bronze medallion from a home on the coast, and a depiction of Jesus that survived the storm.

An American flag also flies at the memorial.

ABC’s Extreme Makeover crew dedicated the memorial on February 15, 2006.

Biloxi Town Green‍

Biloxi's Sign in Town Green

The Memorial is located at Biloxi Town Green. This space is used for festivals and local events. Around the corner from the memorial, visitors will see a shoo-fly around a live oak tree. This raised platform allows people to stand slightly higher and escape the bugs as fewer flies the higher you stand.

Visit the Rebuilt Mississippi Gulf Coast‍

In the 16 years since Hurricane Katrina devastated the area, Gulfport, Biloxi, and Long Beach have dedicated themselves to rebuilding better and stronger than before. The waterfront is home to delicious restaurants, fun attractions, and beautiful beaches. Check out Long Beach, Mississippi tourism and discover our resilient and rejuvenated home.

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