Sand dunes make drive along Hwy. 90 quite messy - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Sand dunes make drive along Hwy. 90 quite messy

Because of Wednesday night's storms, blowing sand covers several sections of Hwy 90. (Photo source: WLOX) Because of Wednesday night's storms, blowing sand covers several sections of Hwy 90. (Photo source: WLOX)
During Sunday's storm, a WLOX reporter and photographer help a stranded motorist on Hwy. 90 in Gulfport Sunday morning. (Photo source: WLOX) During Sunday's storm, a WLOX reporter and photographer help a stranded motorist on Hwy. 90 in Gulfport Sunday morning. (Photo source: WLOX)
GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) -

Just when work crews thought they had it contained, Highway 90 became a sandpit again early Thursday morning. 

The sand blasted the highway, piling up all along the beachfront, undoing hours of hard work put in by people who spent the last several days clearing streets and properties of the stuff.

"Now I need the sun to come out and the wind to blow out of the north at about 50 miles per hour," said landscaper, Ron Quintero.

Quintero had just gotten this property cleared off from the last barrage of sand.

"One night, big storm and it covered it all up again," he said.

Same song and dance for the MDOT crews, who say the fight for a clear highway is pretty much an annual occurrence.

"About when we think we got it good, then another storm comes in and blows it back in the road," said Vincent Necaise, area maintenance superintendent for MDOT.

But, efforts by the Harrison County Sand Beach Authority make the fight a little easier on the state crews. Workers are constantly lowering the level of the beach, known as the template. It gives the sand a barrier to hit at the boardwalk and seawall stopping a lot of it before it launches onto the roadways.

Sand beach director, Chuck Loftis, says the barriers and other strategies are no match for some conditions.

"Over this past weekend, a two day event, the sand was built all the way up to the top and over, so we're doing our best to get this material moved," said Loftis, "We put sand dunes up, we put fencing up, but when you have 45 and 50 mile an hour winds, the sand's going to blow right over the top of those." 

And during this time of year, Loftis said it's not uncommon to see these conditions. It's just something that crews have to be prepared to handle.

According to Loftis, it could take up to three months for his crews to lower the beach from county line to county line. That all, of course, depends on weather.

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