Bay St. Louis, Mississippi caught in the midst of Hurricane Katrina

Many people in Mississippi are essentially trapped - literally cut off from any aid. Some don't have cars or gasoline to drive to relief sites.

WSFA 12's Chris Holmes is just back from Mississippi where he found a former Montgomery student who reaches for the stars in his job. Others are in isolated areas with no road access. They estimate a 40 foot wave came through. Nothing could stand up to that. Steve Brettel is just one of the thousands looking through what's left after Katrina. There are a few differences. Unlike most of the victims, his home was worth millions, just off the beach near Bay Saint Louis. Brettel says, "it's a couple hundred miles and just a few years from his school days in Montgomery." Brettel says, "my father was stationed at Maxwell Air Force base and I went to Catholic High.  It's a great school and a great city."

Nowadays, Brettel is the man in charge of building the three liquid fueled engines powering America's space shuttle. At their highest settings, they produce six and a half million pounds of thrust. And yet, compared to Katrina, they are pea shooters. Brettel says, "I would expect to see catastrophic devastation with a category 5. The part that surprises me is how far inland this goes. You know, if you came here after camille, it's fairly similar on the beach front as Camille. What's different is behind, there's nothing standing. You drove in, you saw it. One mile in, there's nothing standing." Like everyone else, Brettel stands in awe of Katrina's power, but he's not despondent over losing his beautiful house, and nearly losing a huge oak tree nearby. It survived 500 years, and I guess this storm too. Instead, the former catholic schoolboy is hurting inside for others who don't have the money or prestige he does. There's absolutely nothing left.

They're struggling for their lives over there. And that is the story for most people here in the Biloxi, Gulfport, Bay Saint Louis area. The much needed water, food and shelter is trickling in because of the widespread destruction. But there is some good news, and that's because help is coming from Alabama. We discovered the Prattville fire department working here along with Alabama State troopers and, Alabama power workers will also begin arriving to help turn on the juice.  In the coming days Chris Holmes, will file more reports from ground zero in Mississippi - Hancock and Harrison counties, where more than 2-hundred people died and even more are missing.