Biloxi Posts Katrina High Water Marks

A city worker paints a light blue water mark on a utility pole in East Biloxi. At Howard and Lee Streets, the high water from Katrina was nearly eight feet deep.

"That's just the standing high water mark. When you were in areas where the surge was pounding, you may have had a wave on top of that too," said Eric Nolan, with the city's community development department.

Nolan used FEMA hurricane maps to help calculate actual water depths. Tell tale blue rings will be painted at 72 locations throughout the city.

"We're talking almost 18 feet in a lot of places. Eighteen feet here at the end of the road," said Nolan, pointing down Lee Street.

City public affairs director Vincent Creel experienced the rapidly rising water firsthand. He took video footage at Howard and Lee Streets the morning Katrina began to roll ashore.

"It might not be today and it might not be tomorrow, but people are going to start minimizing the damage of this storm and the threat that we faced. And we think that this will educate visitors and will also serve as a reminder to residents," Creel explained.

Long before Katrina's arrival, the high water marks from Hurricane Camille held a certain fascination. One of the more visible Camille water lines is painted on a steel beam at the Shell station, at the corner of Highway 90 and Veterans Avenue.

The light blue marks reflecting Katrina's high water will now likely overshadow the Camille reminders.

Utility poles at Cadet and First Streets offer a direct comparison between the two storms. The white wavy ring signifying Camille's high water, less than six feet deep there, is dwarfed by Katrina's nearly 14 feet.

"Kind of let's them put it in perspective," said Nolan.

Katrina's highest water in Biloxi was nearly 18 feet. That occurred along Highway 90 between Lee and Caillavet Streets.