Broken booms worry Hancock County residents - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Broken booms worry Hancock County residents

BAY ST. LOUIS, MS (WLOX) -

By Steve Phillips – bio | email

BAY ST. LOUIS, MS (WLOX) - Hancock County residents are watching the waters and worrying. Strong winds and waves are washing ashore and breaking apart the booms designed to protect the bay from any oil intrusion.

Hancock County residents are understandably concerned about potential damage to their beautiful beachfront.

"We love it. We love our beach community," said Bay St. Louis resident Carol Strohmetz. "We love coming down here in our flip flops and shorts, and we live here in the outdoors. And it's just heart breaking,"

Even more heart breaking is the fact that residents can do little or nothing to prepare for the advancing oil.

"You feel helpless, you really do. I just wonder, did BP respond quickly enough? Did they have a plan to halt something like this happening? There's too many questions," Strohmetz said.

Chris Nichols recently moved his family to Bay St. Louis  His son, two-year-old Blaise, loves playing in the sand and flying his kite.

"We're out here enjoying the beach while we can. We're not sure we'll be able to do this with the oil," said Nichols.

By early Sunday afternoon, there was still no sight or smell of the approaching oil slick.  But residents are on the lookout.

"Today just seemed like a nice day to see what the water was looking like from this oil spill. Maybe if we could see a difference," said Donna Collins.

Protective booms are stacked at Bayou Caddy, ready for deployment to try and protect inland bays and waterways. Shore birds play in the stirred up surf, seemingly unaware of any impending disaster.  Storm tested residents can only watch and wait.

"It worries me because we're just starting to climb back out of the mess from Katrina. Businesses are coming back, people are starting to build homes again. And now we're going to get hit by this. The tourism. The eco-system. Everything. It's just heart breaking," said Strohmetz.

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