MDOT Crews busy cleaning Highway 90 - - The News for South Mississippi

MDOT Crews busy cleaning Highway 90

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Hurricane Isaac made a mess of Highway 90. Standing water, blowing sand and lots of debris are the reasons the beach front highway was closed much of the day.

"I guess people don't understand what "closed" means," said Vincent Necaise, who supervises MDOT clean-up crews on Highway 90.

He says traffic has been a challenge to work around, and that's one reason the highway was closed.

Here's one reason for the closure:  Standing water on the highway poses a safety hazard. Plus, heavy equipment needs room to maneuver.  And those crews and equipment are working from bridge to bridge.

"We've got front end loaders. Motor graders. Back hoes. Scooping up sand and debris and loading it onto trucks and getting it out of the road and making it passable. We've got crews all the way from Clark County, down through Harrison County and Hancock County trying to get this sand and debris cleaned-up off the road," said Necaise.

While some crews guide the giant front end loaders to remove the sand, Willie Lee and Joshua Feat put their shovels to work, clearing the storm drains.

"Not bad.  It's just getting stuff out of them, so they can drain," said Feat.

"A lot of trash, lot of trash. Nothing valuable, just trash," added Lee.

"That's very important, because if it comes a rain, and the drains are still full of sand, they won't drain," said Necaise.

Debris from the broken boardwalk and piers litters the area near the old Gulfport VA. It's a different storm, but the same old post-hurricane assignment for M-DOT crews:  Clean our highway.

"We're about used to it. We can do it with our eyes closed now," said Necaise.

They certainly made significant progress on the clean-up Friday. As in past storms, the parking lot at the foot of Courthouse Road is where they're taking much of the sand scooped from the highway. That will be recycled back onto the sand beach, which of course will need its own clean-up after Isaac.

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