It's a race against the clock for Harrison County crews trying to get some areas of beach open in time for the arrival of thousands of classic car lovers. Cruisin' the Coast kicks off in early October. However, right now the beach is closed because of Hurricane Isaac debris. So with a lot to do in a short time, crews are in overdrive.
Workers using heavy equipment saw the piles Hurricane Isaac debris get higher and higher. With 26 miles of beach front to cleanup, Harrison County Sand Beach officials decided to give some areas top priority.
"Getting ready for Cruisin' the Coast which is going to be here the first week of October," said Harrison County Sand Beach Director Chuck Loftis. "So we're trying to get some of the busier areas done first."
First priority is going to places officials say Cruisers and other tourists tend to spend most of their time. Crews are concentrating in Biloxi from Debuys Road to Treasure Bay. Since the Cruisin' The Coast parade takes place in Long Beach, officials said crews are also focusing heavily between Jeff Davis Avenue and the University of Southern Mississippi.
"We want to still give that positive for visitors coming in, so MDOT is working on the highway. They're trying to get all the parking bays and the turning bays done. And we're going to try to have all these debris piles picked up and the beach cleaned in those areas so we can at least open up some of the areas before that event."
The plan is to start hauling debris off next week and hopefully have the high traffic sections open in the next two weeks. Officials said they need the public to please stay off the beach.
"Especially while we're trying to clean, the beaches are still closed. So we asked that you just heed to the warnings that we have," Loftis said. "It's still an issue with all the various debris still out there. As soon as we get it out, we will post some signs that the beaches are open in certain locations so then people can enjoy it. "
Harrison County Sand Beach officials said crews will be working some overtime and getting help from road department employees to get the sections of beach open in time for Cruisin' The Coast.
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