Despite working through the weekend, sand beach crews simply couldn't keep up with the mountains of trash. (Photo source: WLOX)
HARRISON COUNTY, MS (WLOX) -
Harrison County supervisors talked about spring break weekend at Monday’s board meeting in Biloxi.
Concerns about trash, traffic, and crazy behavior led one supervisor to suggest the National Guard may be needed to help keep order.
“We've got to get a better handle, whatever it takes, on that situation. Law enforcement wise. Because when nobody's there, it's a free for all. I saw it myself. Free for all,” said Supervisor Angel Kibler-Middleton.
She told fellow board members the impact of spring break weekend is a huge issue that demands attention.
“I came down and saw it firsthand. It's craziness. We've got to have help, whether it's from whoever, whatever. National Guard, whatever. But, it has to be law enforcement. Huge presence,” Kibler-Middleton said.
“You're talking about 15,000 people in an area that is three miles long. That's what you're talking about. There's nobody can enforce that. You can't do anything with it. You couldn't go in there and throw tear gas. They wouldn't get out of the way,” said Sheriff Troy Peterson.
Aside from crowd control, litter is an issue.
“It was by far the worst year we've ever seen for the trash,” said sand beach director Chuck Loftis.
Despite working through the weekend, sand beach crews simply couldn't keep up with the mountains of trash. One big concern is broken glass.
“You have that many people in one area, it's tough. But, until we do something with enforcing the ordinance, I think the issue is going to get worse and worse as we go along,” said Loftis.
The trash wasn't limited to the beach. It spread into nearby neighborhoods.
“They need to move it someplace else. It's just out of control. That's what it is, it's out of control,” said Biloxi resident Terry Robertson, who spent the morning picking up trash from the weekend event.
The board president says the county needs to work with event promoters to address the concerns.
“Somewhat like growing pains. You know, I think when it first started, traffic was terrible. Well, we got a pretty good grip on that now. It's flowing better, flowing a lot better than it was,” said board president Kent Jones.
Supervisor Beverly Martin told her colleagues she didn't think the trash was any worse than after Mardi Gras or a busy Fourth of July weekend.