Ida delivers glancing blow with moderate winds and water

By Steve Phillips – bio | email

BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - Bright rays of sun broke through the cloud bank over the Mississippi Sound just after dawn. Even before Ida's winds subsided, construction crews on the beach in Biloxi got about the business of building the concrete walkway along the beach.

The storm's glancing blow along the coast failed to halt progress on the beach front project.

At Ocean Springs harbor, boat owners breathed a sigh of relief.

"We managed to take care of our boats. The boat owners were here, in force, taking care of their business," commercial fisherman Chris Balius said.

For Balius and other commercial fishermen, that meant spending the night aboard their vessels, adjusting the lines and maintaining a safe mooring.

"The winds wasn't too high. The water come up a little bit over the road. But other than that, we fared pretty good. We had good warning and information coming out of our news," said Balius.

Like their counterparts in Biloxi, construction workers building the walkway near the Ocean Springs yacht club were back on the job once Ida's winds and rain slackened.

"That's right. We've got to, got to," foreman Scott Mallette said.

This construction project got underway just a couple of weeks ago and the contractor can't afford many weather interruptions.

Ida created quite a nuisance for the construction crews building the walkway on Ocean Springs beach. Water that formed a large pond behind the concrete walk, had to be pumped away from the work site so the crew can keep busy building.

"It dumped a lot of water down here on the beach for us to work through. But we're going to pump it out and do what we can," said Mallette, who works for Coleman-Hammons construction.

Both construction crews and boat owners agree on one thing: Ida certainly could have been much worse.

"You never know about those things. You've got to be prepared," said a relieved Chris Balius.

The concrete walkway along the beach in Ocean Springs will stretch from the yacht club to the harbor. It's scheduled to be finished in early February.

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