Arlene Spares Coast, But Still Has Economic Impact

Many people say South Mississippi got lucky with Tropical Storm Arlene taking an eastward turn before making landfall.

However, Arlene still had an impact on some local businesses.

People drove from as far away as Petal and New Orleans on Saturday, seeking a fun-filled day at Marine Life.

But Tropical Storm Arlene put a damper on their plans.

"We were closed because of the Hurricane warnings," said Moby Solangi, Director of Marine Life.

Marine Life may have been closed for the day, but workers inside were busy unpacking merchandise that had been packed up for the storm and cleaning other parts of the facility for Sunday's reopening.

Even though Arlene made landfall more than a hundred miles away, Marine Life leaders say the storm still managed to suck up a day's worth of profits.

"It certainly has. I mean closing on a Saturday during summer, it's a lot of losses, but we have to play the game," Solangi said.

The beaches were also pretty bare on Saturday, but the bad weather or threat of it didn't keep everyone away.

"So, where's the hurricane?" asked Eddie Villere who was walking on the beach with other relatives who were in town for an annual family reunion.

The Nicaud family reunion has been held in South Mississippi for the past 35 years.

While Mother Nature has never caused this annual gathering to be cancelled, Arlene's presence did deter some people from attending this year, causing some hotel room cancellations.

"We usually have about 60 or 80 rooms we rent, and we'll have between 150 and 200 people. This year, a lot of the elderly people cancelled out. I have an uncle in Mobile who hurt himself, so he didn't get to come. But, we're out here. We're here. We're wondering where the hurricane is, but we're here," Villere said.

Arlene may not have caused visible damage here in South Mississippi, but she did hit some local businesses where it hurts in the pocketbook.