BAY ST. LOUIS, MS (WLOX) - The controversial Hurricane Katrina high water markers at the I-10 and Highway 603 interchange in Hancock County have been painted over. City leaders voted earlier this week to cover the wording on the markers and Friday that work was completed.
It seem most everyone in Hancock County has an opinion on the Katrina water mark wall.
"I think it symbolizes what we went through. I feel that it should stay there, let people know what we have overcome. To take it down to me would be like a slap in the face," said Bay St. Louis Resident Melissa Cardinale.
Crews have the words "Katrina High Water 2005" covered now. City leaders said the daily reminder wasn't what they want developers and tourists to see.
"There's also the feeling that people want to remember it but not dwell on it," said Ward 2 City Council Member Wendy McDonald.
Cardinale said, "They shouldn't be ashamed of how high the water came, it should be there to let people know that.
Let the people out there know our small town went through something and we bounced back from it. Don't be ashamed, don't cover it up, don't hide it is the way I feel they're trying to do is to be ashamed and hide it."
The actual high water mark was left alone. City leaders want to see a more subtle Katrina reminder put up.
"I think that high water mark was kind of a badge of courage to a lot of people. That's why we're going to leave the high water mark itself and find a way to use it a little more subtlety about the fact that this community suffered the worst natural disaster in US history," said Bay St. Louis Mayor Les Fillingame.
The mayor said "Welcome to Bay St. Louis and Hancock County" will be painted on the monuments and a more permanent memorial will be created in the future.
The mayor said the new design for the markers will be presented to the City Council Tuesday evening.