Wal-Mart back in permanent quarters in hurricane ravaged Waveland

Published 6:25 pm Friday, August 4, 2006

Wal-Mart is back in permanent quarters in Waveland, almost a year after Hurricane Katrina smashed the original store along with just about everything else in this Mississippi coastal town.

On Friday, area residents will be treated to a variety of activities on the store’s parking lot, ranging from food and music to appearances by local and state officials.

Wal-Mart is the first large national retailer to return to this community that is still recovering from the devastation left by the Aug. 29 hurricane.

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After Katrina, the Bentonville, Ark.-based retailer erected a 16,000-square foot tent on its parking lot to make available food and other basic items.

In November, the store became a Wal-Mart Express, described by the company as a prototype 57,000-square-foot “store within a store,” with temporary walls defining the shopping area.

Among those scheduled to take part in Friday’s activities are U.S. Rep. Gene Taylor, D-Miss., first lady Marsha Barbour, Waveland Mayor Tommy Longo, and Bay St. Louis Mayor Eddie Favre.