Harrison County Board of Supervisors Acts Swiftly To Clean And Reopen Beaches
The Harrison County Board of Supervisors quickly took action to begin the cleanup process on the 26 miles of Harrison County Sand Beach. The beaches have been temporarily closed and will be reopened as soon as they are cleaned. The West Biloxi Boardwalk and sidewalks remain open.
On Tuesday, the board approved hiring a contractor to clean up the environmental waste left along the shoreline from Tropical Storm Cristobal. The contractor will begin working on the project today.
"We declared an emergency proclamation for Tropical Strom Cristobal, which will allow us to get state and federal reimbursements if available," Harrison County Board of Supervisors President Connie Rockco said. "Since we are under a local emergency, we have already selected the contractors to use during disasters such as this, and affirmed the notice to proceed at an emergency called meeting this morning.”
Tropical Storm Cristobal made landfall Sunday afternoon in southeastern Louisiana, bringing with it large amounts of rain and storm surge up to five feet in some parts of Harrison County. The storm left debris along the shoreline of the entire Harrison County Sand Beach. With a commitment to public safety and the area's tourism industry, the board wasted no time in starting the debris-removal process.
"We will clean the beach in stages," Harrison County Board of Supervisors Vice President Beverly Martin said. "We are going to start in the high tourist areas first, and will be opening the beach in sections as they are cleaned."
Harrison County District4 Supervisor Kent Jones agreed with Martin, pushing for the high-traffic areas of Harrison County Sand Beach to be opened as soon as they are cleaned.
"The tourism industry has suffered from the COVID-19 pandemic and we want to give our hotels a boost of confidence by getting the areas that attract a lot of tourists cleaned and opened."
As Harrison County gets ready for its busiest time of the tourist season, Rockco said getting the beaches open is a top priority.
"We encourage people that have plans to visit us in Harrison County to come on and not cancel their plans," she said. "We will get the beaches open quickly for everyone to enjoy."