Extra protection for Silver Slipper Casino - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Extra protection for Silver Slipper Casino

HANCOCK COUNTY, MS (WLOX) -

By Al Showers – bio | email

HANCOCK COUNTY, MS (WLOX) - An oily road, beach closings and hundreds of clean-up crews is enough to have an a negative effect on any business. But when that business is a 24-hour casino, near an area where oil has come ashore, having a heightened sense of concern might be an under statement.

Leaders at the Sliver Slipper Casino have unveiled a plan they hope will keep oil off of the beach road and keep the customers coming.

The sand along the shoreline near the Sliver Slipper Casino are now clean, but the beach remains off limits because of the oil threat.

General Manager Sliver Slipper Casino John Ferrucci said, "It's pretty much impacted everything that goes on around here. The biggest thing we've had to deal with is misinformation people hear that the beach is closed, and they assume that the road is closed, as well. And it's not."

Ferrucci admitted oil coming ashore hasn't been good for business.

"Yes, there has been some impact. I just don't know how to measure it. We have some people that have stayed away because they don't want to be around something like this. We have other people who come down out of curiosity."

Ferrucci said people are used to very high tides pushing water onto the road, but when that water also brings oil, it's double trouble. He says a 2,400 foot solution is in the works to keep water and oil off the beach road.

"Our plan is to build a natural sand berms that will go in front of the sand dunes that you see behind me that the county has put in. This way when the tide does come up it will be stopped by the brume. It won't get past there. It won't impact the road."

The three foot tall barrier will look similar to the one being used on private property in the Henderson Point Community, with one difference, the barrier won't be installed in the water but instead on the sand.

County Engineer Jeff Clemens said, "The plan is to utilize a product made by Hesco which is basically like a basket that's lined with a filter fabric that you fill with sand. They've been utilized in Dauphin Island and Gulf Shores to help protect some of their shore line."

The barrier will run from the Casino to just north of Lakeshore Road.

"It's kind of like putting legos together down the beach and filling them with sand," Clemens said. "So it should go pretty quickly."

He said the entire structure should be in place in a little more than a week.

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