It was a quiet Sunday afternoon at the Ocean Springs Front Harbor; however, what's under the water is causing quite a stir.
"You know one of the movies is what lies beneath these waters. We really don't know, but I know there's a tremendous amount of debris in this harbor as well as other bayous in the county," District 4 Supervisor Frank Leach says.
"We had an office here, it's out there somewhere. At one time we did embroidery here, those machines are out there. Xeroxes, copy machines, everything else," David Harris, owner of Harbor Landing, says.
In addition, the roof of the old harbor master's house still peeks out from the harbor's still waters. It was once a place boaters frequently went. Now, they have to avoid it.
"I'm sure people as they have come and gone have had some problems with trying to negotiate and safely get out. But we do not certainly have need for people to have to worry about how they go through a waterway that should be free and clear," Leach says.
People know for sure that the harbor master's house and a service truck were washed into the harbor during Katrina. 17 months later, that debris is still causing problems for boat owners.
"It wouldn't if they look at it at low tide and determine where the debris is. If they don't pay any attention to it and get out there and go lickety-split, yeah it could be a problem," Harris says.
Leach says the Coast Guard is sailing toward a solution. They're taking bids from contractors through January 11th, and have devised a plan to repair many waterways throughout Jackson County. He says, eventually, boaters will find smooth sailing again.
"Ultimately in the end we'll have a better place for the people to use at the end of this process, and we won't have to worry about what lies beneath," Leach says.
Leach says that ideally, the contract will be awarded to a local business in January. From there, he estimates it will take about 90 days for the project to be completed.
By Keli Rabon
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