Supervisors respond to eroding beach problem in Ocean Springs

OCEAN SPRINGS, MS (WLOX) - Wednesday's downpour caused more problems for Front Beach in Ocean Springs. WLOX News first reported Monday, strong waves are washing away part of the beach, and that's causing the city's boardwalk to crack. County supervisors say sand will be brought in later this week to help prevent the recurring erosion problem.

"The foundation of the sidewalk is really not where it ought to be," Supervisor John McKay said. "What's happening is, if you look along the edge, it's not sealed real good between that sitting wall which extends below the sand level and the sidewalk. What's happening the water rushed down off the roadway and hits that wall and is seeping between the sitting wall and the other wall. And, of course, it erodes out underneath while it's doing all of that."

McKay said the city put drains in to give that sitting water a place to go, but with heavy rains, it's not enough. The water then flows in one direction, which builds up under the cement sidewalk leaving cracks.

"As these cracks happen in the sand, the water is seeping through the cracks out to the lower level, which is in the water and it eventually erodes a tunnel out. Well, these big rains we've had, as we're getting beneath the sidewalk and it's eroding out the big tunnels, eventually you have a hollow space under there like you do in a roadway a lot of times. And eventually the hollow space caves in, and that's what happened down here," McKay explains.

To temporarily fix this problem, 2,500 cubic yards of sand will be brought in to help expand the beach 80 feet out from the sidewalk.

"The county is going to work with the city as much as we can to resolve these problems and try to solve them. Any way that we can work with them as a team, because this is a sidewalk. As you can see, many people are down here using it today, even with the threat of rain. So it's a popular place. So we want to see it put back into use as quickly as possible," McKay said.

McKay said it won't happen overnight, but the board is taking the necessary steps to get the work done as soon as possible.

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