HARRISON COUNTY, MS (WLOX) - The recent stormy weather battered the beach in Harrison County. Flood waters caused erosion along much of the 26 miles of sand, but work is underway to restore the popular tourist attraction.
The storm scars can be easily seen along many sections of the sand beach. Heavy rainfall caused washouts and erosion.
Sand beach director Chuck Loftis said that's what happens when you get seven inches of rain or more.
"When you have a rain event like this that we had over the past two days, that water bottlenecks up on the beach and then usually has a big washout near the shoreline," said Loftis.
Heavy equipment is used to help replenish the beach, returning the wayward sand to where it belongs.
"Most of that material we can push back up from the near shoreline and put back where it was. Get the material from the southern part of the water's edge and bring that material back and fill in the washouts. Usually going to take about two weeks to do this," said Loftis.
An added chore will be cleaning up all the debris the storms washed ashore. Beach cleaning equipment will be dispatched to handle that task.
Things like sand dunes and fencing are both designed to help prevent beach erosion. The trouble is, they work best against wind-blown erosion. This time, the damage was caused by the water from too much heavy rain in a short period of time.
After all that rain, not surprisingly, there's still some standing water on parts of the beach. Occasional winter storms are expected, and Loftis said his team is prepared to respond.
"If it's a slow rain, then it will seep into the sand, but a large amount in a short period of time will bottleneck up and will wash its way through," said Loftis.
This new year will see some improvements to the Harrison County sand beach. Four additional shade structures will be installed along the beach boardwalk.