Schools Reopen as Residents Consider Rebuilding

Classes resume today in Butler, Conecuh, Monroe, Mobile and Baldwin counties after being canceled more than a week because of Hurricane Ivan. But students will probably find many reminders of the powerful storm, which blew across Alabama's Gulf Coast ten days ago.

At least one regular classroom at Bay Minette Middle School has been condemned, and roof sections blew off at several schools. Computers and ceiling tiles alike have been ruined. Schools in Repton and Castleberry are still closed.

In the meantime, experts say there probably will be more storms in the future that will batter homes and condominiums along the Gulf Coast the way Hurricane Ivan did. That leaves property owners, insurance companies and bankers facing the decision of whether to rebuild paradise during the calm between storms.

Early estimates put the insured damages for Hurricane Ivan at three to ten billion dollars nationally. But some experts say that even though coverage along the coast remains expensive, development will continue because people like going to the beach.

With help from the Associated Press