Pascagoula, Biloxi facing millions in damages from Hurricane Nate

Pascagoula, Biloxi facing millions in damages from Hurricane Nate

While most cities on the Gulf Coast survived Hurricane Nate with minimal damage, millions of dollars will be needed to cover repairs in Pascagoula and Biloxi.

MEMA executive director Lee Smithson said in a press conference yesterday that the infrastructure along the Coast has strengthened significantly over the years.

"If Nate would have hit us 15 years ago the damage would have been much more extensive," Smithson said.

The brunt of the storm was mostly felt in Jackson County, which recorded a maximum storm surge of 10 ft. Mayor Dane Maxwell of Pascagoula says the city has "millions of dollars in damages." Pascagoula city workers are scheduled to do an official assessment early Tuesday morning.

A Harrison County representative states that the City of Biloxi has an estimated $2.5 million in damages. This figure does not include private businesses like Margaritaville, which suffered roof damage and estimated $7.5 million in total damages.

Shea Dobson, mayor of Ocean Springs stated, "We had some damage at the harbor and a lot of trees and power lines down." He also noted that no injuries were reported as a result of the hurricane.

Keesler Air Force Base sustained no major damage from Hurricane Nate. Base operations crews are working to collect debris and fallen trees in the area. The Outdoor Recreation Marina remained closed in the following days due to flooding.

Mayor Leo McDermott of Pass Christian said, "one pier in the old harbor is having some electrical repair, while private piers on the bayou north west side have damage. Other than that, we mostly experience normal wind and water debris in areas where the high tide was a problem."

Rescue teams in Long Beach reportedly never received calls for service during or after the storm. Long Beach civil defense director Mike Brown says he'd be "surprised if the total cost of the storm is over $50,000."

Gulfport Mayor Billy Hewes reflects, "All in all, we were fortunate that Hurricane Nate did not cause any substantial damage. Part of this was because of the advance planning by local officials and the response by our residents and visitors in taking the storm seriously," said Hewes. "Our thanks to the crews who hit the streets at daybreak, and residents who set about cleaning their yards and checking their neighbors as Nate moved inland."

South Mississippi officials await new figures to see if the area will meet the $4.5 million federal threshold for a presidential disaster declaration.

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