Debris Crews Wait For Call To Clean Gulfport - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

10/31/05

Debris Crews Wait For Call To Clean Gulfport

Mike Robinson left Oklahoma six weeks ago, expecting to haul off Gulfport's hurricane debris. The last thing he expected was time to go fishing.

"We're just sitting down here just kind of going stir crazy, just waiting to go to work," Robinson said. "We've just not been able to work."

Debris is still a citywide concern. It's being cleared off the beach and out of neighborhoods. But lately, not by the Oklahoma contract workers. The last two weeks, they've reeled in more fish than trash.

And they aren't the only debris removal teams with so much to potentially clean, but nothing to do. Despite the unsightly mess around Gulfport, Jones Park is littered with trucks that haven't hauled a thing in weeks.

Alabama's Mike Connolly is getting tired of the inactivity.

"We sit and sit and sit and that's it," the contract worker said.

Across from Jones Park and the idle trucks, Mayor Brent Warr met with the Army Corps of Engineers on a different matter. When asked about the lack of productivity from some of the trucks parked near the water, Warr said, "First thing that goes through my mind is we need to make some phone calls and see what's going on."

David Rogers is hoping Gulfport's mayor or somebody with another government agency comes up with an answer soon. You see, the Oklahoma man wants his trucks hauling debris again -- because the fish don't seem to be biting.

Fishing gave Rogers a chance to relax a little bit. "But we do need to get it done so we can get back home," he said.

The city of Gulfport hired a company called Philips Jordan to oversee its debris removal. It hires the trucks that clear the hurricane trash. The out-of-town crews said that while they waited, they were being paid by their bosses back home.

by Brad Kessie

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