Sightseers Pack Highway 90 In Gulfport

It's two lanes, some waiting, and whole different sight to see, along Gulfports section of historic highway 90.

"I believe this set us back 40 years," remarks a man passing by in a pickup truck. "That's what it looks like to me."

But despite concerns about accidents and traffic jams, Gulfport police officials say this first weekend of public access to the road has gone better than expected.

"Everyone wants to get down to that portion of the City of Gulfport and see the destruction," says Sgt. Damon McDaniel, Traffic Supervisor for the Gulfport Police Department. "Thank God most of it's been removed by the clean up crews and the relief effort."

And McDaniel believes that's a big reason why traffic has moved along as smoothly as it has.

"Now you just have people going down there just to see what they used to see there is now gone," says McDaniel.

And what's gone is still enough to shock and sadden many returning travelers to the new version of this once scenic drive.

"I think it's horrendous," replys a man on a motorcycle. "We haven't been here before because we couldn't get down, and after they cleared the debris you can see the damage is worse than we originally thought."

Police presence is everywhere, as they expect traffic to greatly increase with the approach of the holidays and as other sections of highway reopen in the coming weeks.

"We have to put the officers in different post to help regulate the traffic," says McDaniel. "So if it did get heavy we want to be in place."

And they hope with traffic lights still out, people will continue to treat each intersection as a 4 way stop and to treat other travelers and especially the few residents who remain here mostly in tents and trailers with respect.