Pascagoula Beachfront Coasting Toward Recovery

Work continues to restore the Pascagoula Beachfront which was hit hard by Katrina.

"It's the reason we live here. People want to be on the river, people want to be on the water. That's one of our greatest assets," Pascagoula city manager Kay Kell proudly says.

On August 29th, 2005 that asset turned into a liability. The scars Katrina left on Pascagoula's beach front haven't yet healed: broken piers, street lights that don't work, and roads that aren't quite smooth.

"We're definitely aware of what needs to be done, and we're definitely working on it," Kell promises.

Beach Park, however, is a sign that Pascagoula is healing. Improved equipment and smiling faces prove Katrina couldn't take away the fun forever. Compton Engineering project manager Jaci Turner says an updated design will help Pascagoula's pier return stronger than ever.

"The same footprint but using concrete piles instead should make it stronger," Turner says.

Another project the city is considering are improvements to the seawall. City leaders say adding sand along this area would not only provide added beauty to the beachfront, it would also give homeowners extra protection in case of another storm.

"We know that the homes behind the sandbox fared better. It's a core of engineers project. To protect property, in the fastest way, the most economical, the most beneficial, and Pascagoula has the number one project there," Kell says.

Work on that $7 million project is still in the early stages. City Manager Kay Kell says work on these shoreline projects are going along a bit slower than she'd like

"We're waiting on FEMA, and we've learned in this year and a half to not get in a hurry when we're waiting on FEMA.  As long as they're working with us, then we'll keep plowing ahead," Kell explains.

Kell says an enhancement grant from the governor's charette program will also help Pascagoula. They plan to create a promenade with special lighting and trees to continue to enhance their beach front.