Months after Hurricane Katrina roared through the Gulf Coast, casinos in Biloxi, Miss., are beginning to reopen.
One out of every five structures in the city was lost.
"I had this much water in this house," said Charlie Gill, a Biloxi resident, raising his hand high. "I'm glad I'm alive."
The Imperial Palace Hotel and Casino will open on Thursday. Inside, construction workers were rushing to finish. As the slot machines were tested, more than 1,000 workers were returning to a pep rally of sorts.
The frantic energy was helping those who had been through so much.
"A lot of us have lost everything we had," said a cocktail waitress named Rebecca. "This is bringing it back to normal."
In case anyone forgot what they had been through, they could have a drink in Biloxi's Katrina Bar.
The Isle of Capri casino plans to open a floor for gambling in its hotel on Dec. 26. The Beau Rivage, the granddaddy hotel-casino, won't open until Aug. 29 -- the one-year anniversary of Katrina.
The Palace Casino is scheduled to reopen on Dec. 30.