Storms Create More Beach Restoration Duties

Digging holes for the new fencing is one of the most visible parts of the beach restoration. The mesh fencing will go up in different areas of the beach, and it's not just for looks.

"For future dune development, for keeping the sand from blowing up onto the seawall which ultimately ends up on the highway and makes the highway medians not really aesthetically pleasing," Harrison County Beach Director Bobby Weaver says.

The cleanup crews are working both east and west at the same time. Weaver says they haven't reached all the trouble spots yet. One of those is near the President Casino, where the low tide revealed a lot of seaweed and grass.

"We're startin' to see some seaweed wash up on the shoreline and that's been comin' for the last coupla weeks."

By mid-February, Weaver says they will reassess what needs to be done and if they need to change their work direction. The priority areas are those used by tourists, and in front of the naval home where the least terns nest. Weaver says they couldn't get started on the winter makeover until debris from two tropical storms was removed. The storms shifted sand where it shouldn't be.

"We have a three foot rise in the sand in the middle of the beach so we have to take that excess material and place it somewhere else."

The storms left behind about two and a half million dollars in damage on the beach. FEMA paid for 75% of the costs. The county and state made up the rest.