Attorneys Accuse Port Of Not Following Plan - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

11/29/05

Attorneys Accuse Port Of Not Following Plan

Attorneys Jim Davis and Wayne Woodall say if the Port of Gulfport had followed its own hurricane plan, giant barges, containers and paper rolls would have never barreled into homes and businesses from Highway 49 west to USM.

"Some of the plan itself requires them to remove property from the port and to use all reasonable efforts to get the property off the port. It's glaringly obvious they didn't do that," says Davis.

Woodall adds, "The port could have made them move the trailers and the containers from the property and they did not do that, and people like me and others in my neighborhood were damaged because these trailers ended up in our houses."

Barges from the port demolished Woodall's beachfront home. He and Davis say there's a lot of finger pointing going on at the port.

"As far as who dropped the ball - The port? The tenants? We are concerned about that. We want to get to the bottom of it. But I think all of them acknowledge that someone didn't do their job," Davis says.

"We know from the prior storms that it was reasonably foreseeable, as the law says, that these paper rolls would break loose from the port and damage property on the Gulfport beachfront," says Woodall.

Woodall says their engineers tell them if it were not for the extra pressure from the heavy structures, it's very likely many of the houses would still be standing, at least to some extent.

Port Director Don Allee told us last month the port is not responsible for the containers, the barges or the paper rolls. Those are all owned by various companies, he says. Allee would not comment on the charges made by the two attorneys.

The attorneys will hold informational meetings Wednesday at 2 and 7pm at the Crystal Inn Hotel off Canal Road in Gulfport. People whose property may have been damaged from the containers, paper rolls and barges are invited to attend.

byMarcia Hill

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