Karen forces beach vendor to move, but visitors stay put

BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - Harrison County Sand Beach crews are making preparations for high tides and strong winds. On Friday, they moved the trash cans closer to the seawall. On Saturday, the director will decide whether to order all beach vendors to move their equipment. While some vendors chose to head to higher ground, many visitors are staying put.

Employees of the Biloxi Beach rental business pulled up the posts and furled the flags. It was time to pack-up the jet skis, huts, and furniture and move out.

"I got too much equipment down here. I can't afford to let any of that equipment get caught up in the storm," said Pat Pigott, owner of Biloxi Beach Company and Get Wet Inc.

Pigott owns four beach rental stations. For him, this tourism season has already been a wash-out.

"This is one of the worst years I've had weather-wise. There was rain and the spring was so cold," said Pigott.

He was looking forward to revving up some revenue during this big Cruisin' the Coast weekend.

"I thought, well, that's just the cherry on top of the year. I mean, you sit down here and you wait for some good weather and your last big event of the year, you get a tropical storm," said Pigott. "Anytime you have a big event and you're looking to make some money and you don't get to make it, that's just money lost. You never recoup it. So yeah, it's kind of a bummer."

The Harper family would rather soak up the sunshine than worry about Tropical Storm Karen.

"We live in Atlanta, GA, and they have fall break this week. So we decided to come to the beach and we heard the storm was coming and we figured hopefully, there'll be more sunshine than storms," said Erin Harper.

And Collin Harper was determined not to let rain ruin his vacation. After all, he turned eight on Friday.

When asked if he realized there was a tropical storm out in the Gulf, Collin said "Yep, it's going to flood the waters and we're going to see it."

Many tourists echoed that upbeat attitude. Tyrone Williams was visiting from Philadelphia.

"I hope she just passes us right by. I'm hoping she won't do no damage, just keep on going. Give us a little wind, a little rain, and keep going," said Williams.

If there's a mandatory evacuation for all 15 beach vendors, all trash cans along the seawall will also be removed.

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