Biloxi still not back to pre-Katrina levels - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Biloxi still not back to pre-Katrina levels

Posted: Updated:
BILOXI, MS (WLOX) -

BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - Hurricane Katrina permanently changed the face of Biloxi. East Biloxi specifically did not see many people or homes return. Prior to Katrina, Biloxi was booming, with the gaming industry bringing a lot of people to town. Its population was 50,644 and growing.

But, that all changed on August 29, 2005h when Katrina damaged and destroyed so many homes and businesses. Five years after the storm, it is estimated that Biloxi only has 38,865 people, which means almost 11,000 people did not return after Katrina.

But you have to take into account the damage and destruction. 4,773 homes in Biloxi were either total losses, or more than 50 percent damaged. And, thus far, only 741 permits have been issued to rebuild. And of the 718 businesses Katrina destroyed or damaged, only a little more than half have been rebuilt and reopened in their original locations. Plus, almost every public facility sustained some kind of damage.

In the immediate days, weeks and months after the storm $70 million in FEMA funds went toward removing nearly three million cubic yards of debris in Biloxi. That's enough to cover a football field and stand 144 stories high.

All total FEMA has obligated $487.1 million to fund public improvement projects. Here's what has been fixed or rebuilt: The Biloxi Community Center was restored, as was the Biloxi Natatorium, Port Division Administration Building, City Hall, Biloxi Lighthouse, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Municipal Building, both the Back Bay and East Biloxi Fire Stations, Biloxi Small Craft Harbor and Point Cadet Marina, piers at Coliseum and Forrest Avenue, the White Avenue Fountain and the Sports Complex lighting and fencing.

Plus, the downtown library and civic center and the Lighthouse Park and Visitors Center are both well under construction.

Biloxi officials say the biggest challenge has been getting infrastructure rebuilt because of what they describe as FEMA issues. But one of the biggest obstacles to rebuilding for so many Biloxians, they say, is the high cost and availability of insurance.

Copyright 2010 WLOX. All rights reserved.

  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Hebert Family speaks out about deadly explosion at Omega Protein

    Hebert Family speaks out about deadly explosion at Omega Protein

    Tuesday, July 29 2014 6:55 AM EDT2014-07-29 10:55:14 GMT
    Christopher Hebert was killed in an accident at Omega Protein's Moss Point plant in 2012. Hebert's loved ones said they are heartbroken to hear of another life lost.More >>
    In 2012, Christopher Hebert was killed when he was caught in a rotating screw conveyor at Omega Protein's Moss Point plant. Hebert's loved ones said they are heartbroken to hear another family is having to deal with losing a loved one because of something that happened at the plant.
    More >>
  • Woman, 2 children killed in Leake County ATV accident

    Toddler involved in fatal Leake County ATV accident expected to recover

    Monday, July 28 2014 7:08 PM EDT2014-07-28 23:08:07 GMT
    Two-year-old Alicia Hernandez is currently at Blair E. Batson hospital in Jackson recovering from an ATV accident that killed her mother, brother and a cousin. "My Aunt Lucy Hernandez, her second oldestMore >>
    Sarah Eichelberger, of Baton Rouge, was driving her 2009 Acura car when she collided with Lucy Hernandez's Honda ATV.
    More >>
  • Suspect's death takes a toll on authorities

    Suspect's death takes a toll on authorities

    Tuesday, July 29 2014 6:53 AM EDT2014-07-29 10:53:12 GMT
    The D'Iberville man who was pulled from the Tchoutacabouffa River this weekend drowned, according to Harrison County Coroner Gary Hargrove. Monday, an autopsy was completed on James King. Authorities sayMore >>
    The D'Iberville man who was pulled from the Tchoutacabouffa River this weekend drowned, according to Harrison County Coroner Gary Hargrove. Monday, an autopsy was completed on James King. Authorities say the 21-year-old jumped into the river Saturday while running away from police. It's the kind of tragedy first responders admit always takes a toll on them.More >>
Powered by WorldNow

208 DeBuys Road
Biloxi, MS 39531
(228) 896-1313

FCC Public File
EEO Report
Closed Captioning

All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Worldnow and WLOX. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.