A calm emptiness now fills the west side of Ocean Springs, replacing the usual noisy rush of cars.
"It's eerie. Different," said Michele Hale, an employee at Courtney Farms. "It's just kind of barren out there. You used to never be able to see the other side of the street because of the traffic flow."
Less traffic on Highway 90, means fewer customers for Courtney Farms. Business hasn't been the same since Katrina battered the Biloxi-Ocean Springs Bridge. The store stopped selling fruits and vegetables and switched to mainly plants, garden and lawn products.
"With the decrease in traffic, the produce and some of the items we used to sell were perishable," said Hale. "There was a lot of waste. The decision was made to kind of move in a different direction."
"Dramatically. It's dramatically impacted us," said Sonic General Manager Michelle Nall.
The Sonic has also seen a dramatic drop in sales since the bridge has been out. The restaurant used to make $23,000 a week. Now, it makes almost half that amount.
"Our sales have decreased and our labor force has gone down," said Nall. "We can't keep the people because we can't afford them anymore with the sales, so it's affected everything."
The most visible sign of the bridge's impact is right at the base of the bridge. The Mini Mart convenience store has been boarded up and closed since the storm. City officials say the owner's business license has expired, and so far, he hasn't renewed it.
For now, the businesses near the foot of the bridge are just hanging on, hoping to see more customers return.
"I think it's with everybody here in Ocean Springs and Biloxi. Get the bridge up and running as soon as possible," said Hale.
"We really need a bridge," Michelle Nall said. "We need to get back to our normal business operations. We need to get back to our normal lives."
Even though sales have dropped for many stores and restaurants by the bridge, several new businesses have opened up in the area, including a medical office, a spa, and a palm tree vendor.
By: Trang Pham-Bui
Mike Massey says he's been on a mission since he had a spiritual experience. He's using pool and the bible to spread the word through his Gospel Trick Shot Ministry.More >>
The Biloxi Shuckers were coasting under the win column until Pensacola exploded for three runs in the bottom of the ninth to close the gap. Luckily, Biloxi would close the door on the Blue Wahoos rally.More >>
In less than two weeks most schools across the Coast will be back in session and the roads will be filled with school buses. Leading up to the first day of school Harrison County offers training for new bus drivers with the focus on a top priority.More >>
Getting back in the classroom isn't cheap. Parents spend hundreds of dollars to thousands for school supplies, and clothing. But one South Mississippi company is hoping to help with some of the financial burden of back to school season.More >>
A homeless man is now facing a charge of second degree murder for an attack that happened earlier this month in Gulfport. The upgraded charge against 31-year-old James Christopher Woodard comes after the victim died from his injuries.More >>
Documents show that Southaven officers went to the wrong house to serve a warrant on Monday, which resulted in the shooting death of a man who did not have any active warrants out for his arrest.More >>