Biloxi Mayor Seeks Extension for Debris Removal Deadline

Picture this...a football field with a 47 story building on it. Since Hurricane Katrina slammed into South Mississippi, that's how much debris has been removed just in the city of Biloxi.

Much of the debris at Point Cadet, one of Katrina's hardest-hit areas in Biloxi, has been cleaned up. At the end of the week, the city plans to begin debris removal on private property extending from Caillavet Street east. Before that happens, area homeowners will have an opportunity to tell the city what they'd like done with their property.

"For people that do not want to let their property be cleaned, they need to come in and tell us that, and we won't touch it, but if there are houses just laying there flat on the ground, and we don't know who it is, we will take it out," Mayor Holloway said.

Meanwhile, Mayor Holloway is urging residents to fill out right of entry forms so the clean up can continue.

"We're not going to touch anything that doesn't have a right of entry to it, and we have that posted onto the property so the contractor knows he can go on to the property, so the contractor knows he can go on there he doesn't touch it, unless like I said, there's nothing there but sticks and stones," Mayor Holloway said.

"So far, about 1 million cubic yards of debris have been removed from the city. Mayor Holloway says that's about one-fourth of the total debris that needs to be hauled off. FEMA funding for the clean up is set to expire on November 26, but Holloway says he and other government officials are pushing to extend that deadline.

"My big concern right now is getting the 100-percent reimbursement from FEMA extended another 90 days, and I think the governor is asking for the duration of however long it takes, but we still have a long way to go in debris removal, and it will cost the city a lot of money if we don't get that reimbursement continued," Holloway said.

Biloxi residents can pick up and fill out their right of entry forms at the Community Development Department on Martin Luther King Boulevard. There will be a public meeting Monday on plans for the city's debris removal on private property east of Caillavet Street. That meeting will take place at 1:30 p.m. at the Harrison County Courhouse in downtown Biloxi.