Crews dig up sand for Cruisin' The Coast crowds - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Crews dig up sand for Cruisin' The Coast crowds

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HARRISON COUNTY, MS (WLOX) -

Cruisin' The Coast kicks off Sunday, October 7th. The classic car event that only grows in popularity each year is a big economic engine for our state, especially the three coastal counties.

But with recent storms like Hurricane Isaac and this weekend's severe weather, Highway 90 and most of its parking bays have been buried in sand, which can cause safety issues.

Event organizers hope the roads and the bays are ready for the more than 6,000 vintage cars, their drivers, passengers and all the spending money that comes with them.

Cruisin' The Coast founder and executive director Woody Bailey said, "The storm had a little more of a wallop than I think we all realized, then this weekend the storm didn't really help us too much either."

With most of the beaches already cleaned up from Isaac's mess, there's also been a problem with sand on highway 90 and in parking bays. And with Cruisin' The Coast starting this weekend, that's a concern for event organizer Woody Bailey.

"From a safety standpoint, there's no question about that with sand on the highway, and in the parking bays," Baily said.

But from what he's seen so far, serious progress is being made.

"They're doing everything they can to get us all cleaned up. The county's been great on the beach and MDOT, of course, that is their responsibility Highway 90."

Gabe Faggard with MDOT said, "Anytime there is sand on Highway 90 it causes safety concerns, so we make it our top priority to get it cleaned up. We have 25 personnel with 15 dump trucks on 90. If weather cooperates, we should have it all cleaned by end of the business on Tuesday."

Bailey said, "That's super news!"

And with record registrations already this year, they expect more than 6,000 cars to be cruising our beachfront. They're also expecting to break another vital record with an estimated $22 million economic impact. Bailey stresses the importance of first impressions and word of mouth advertisement.

"We're anticipating 35 to 38 states and Canada being represented here on the Mississippi Gulf Coast for Crusin' The Coast, so we want to show everybody what we have. Things are looking good, Cruisin' is looking good!"

By the way, one of those who pre-registered for this year's Cruisin' is our Governor Phil Bryant who drives a 1955 Nomad.

Crusin' The Coast runs October 7th through the 14th with events in all three coastal counties.

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