PASS CHRISTIAN, MS (WLOX) - Pass Christian has seen a dramatic increase in the number of residential building permits issued in the past few years. Construction means people are returning to the Pass ten years after Hurricane Katrina.
The city's population took a hit after the storm, but in 2015 the number of residents is climbing, which is very important.
"We were at 6,800 before Katrina, which is the maximum we've ever been. Today, we are at 5,400. Our bread and butter is people rather than big business, so to get even more would be our biggest hope," said Mayor Chipper McDermott.
While slabs still remain along Highway 90 and for sale signs are prominent, rebuilding is moving at a brisk pace. The business corridor on Second Street and Davis Avenue is vibrant. Pass Christian Olive Oils and Vinegars opened two years ago and the owner is seeing a stronger pulse in the Pass and beyond.
"We've seen great strides along the coast and here in Pass Christian. It's really exciting to see how much growth has happened in the last ten years," said Kyla Jacobs, owner of Pass Christian Olive Oils and Vinegars.
The new $35 million harbor is the centerpiece of Pass Christian's waterfront. The new harbor has 108 commercial slips and 53 recreational slips. The fortified harbor was built with lessons learned from Katrina in mind.
"We did concrete piers. If everything does what it is supposed to do, they'll go under water. The electrical parts can be easily disconnected. We pop them off and put them in storage. When the storm goes by, we put them back and we're back in business," Harbor Master Willie Davis said.
All in all, Pass Christian seems to moving in the right direction ten years after Katrina.