Little Healing From Katrina

Katrina Recovery Harry Smith
This column was written by CBS News Early Show co-anchor Harry Smith.
Everywhere you looked there was devastation. Every person we spoke with had a story to tell.

On our third night on the Gulf Coast, we were in Bay St. Louis. Dirty and tired, I was trying to get a little sleep in my car. It was late at night when two men walked up and tapped on my window.

"We own a small business down here," they said. "We're conservative people, we know how to take care of ourselves; we don't rely on the government for anything."

But, they said: "Where's the cavalry?"

Here it was the end of the third day and help was no where in sight. The next morning, as I left town, national guardsmen were finally rolling in. Better late than never, I thought.

I've been back many times since and some people are still waiting for the cavalry. Strangled by red tape and frustrated by bureaucratic bungling, they feel like they're being punished for surviving.

The storm's long gone but the damage is still being done.

Harry's daily commentary can be heard on many CBS Radio News affiliates across the country.