Coast Leaders Prepare For Black Spring Break

Coast leaders would love to know for sure if anyone on the coast is planning Black Spring Break , what activities might be organized, and how many people might be attending. They have no idea, which is making it tough to plan for.

"Since we have no real indication that there's anything planned other than a guy who has typed in a few lines on a computer, it's difficult to respond to it," FOCUS founder Cono Caranna said.

Despite the difficulties, Caranna promises county leaders will be more prepared for this year's event than they were last year.

A number of plans to deal with the crowds are now coming together. Since a large percentage of Spring Breakers are college students, Caranna, as well as Harrison County Sheriff George Payne and Biloxi Mayor A.J. Holloway will meet with Mississippi college and university presidents next week to ask for help.

"[We're] having them relay the information to their students that they are welcome to the Mississippi Gulf Coast, but they are going to have to abide by the laws and the rules," Mayor Holloway said.

The most difficult problem will probably be dealing with the traffic. Because leaders don't know how many people will come, they don't know which of their seven traffic plans will work best. It now appears that a plan to create a small traffic loop for cruising on Highway 90 may not work if a very large number of people show up.

"We are looking at ways of handling additional traffic, limitations that you would have to place on turns, access around town," Caranna said. "It'll be a real disadvantage to the residents as well as to our visitors, but it would keep us able to move from places of emergency and places that we need to go."

The Black Spring Break web site says very little, adding that additional information is coming. It does say events will take place at the Coliseum, but officials there say nothing has been booked.

"This is an irresponsible act," Caranna said. "He's inviting people to come to our community without having any entertainment, any refreshments, any sanitation, any publicity other than what he's typing into a computer allegedly at the request of others."