Dense Fog a Major Problem Across Coast

The dense fog has been a menace for the past few days. Fog is to blame for two multi-car accidents on the Bay St. Louis Bridge since Friday. Authorities say the chain reaction accidents on both days were caused by drivers traveling too fast for the thick fog conditions on the bridge.

"I think people should use common sense and good judgment," said Bay St. Louis Police Chief Frank McNeil. "It's a two-lane bridge and if you're going too've got to have enough time to stop."

Officials say warning lights or even an electronic sign could make driving over the Bay St. Louis Bridge in hazardous conditions safer.

McNeil said, "I think that the Mississippi Department of Transportation could add warning signs with a fog advisory, or if there's an accident on the bridge, some kind of way to alert the general public traffic that there is a road condition up front that's hazardous."

The thick fog also shut down ports up and down the Gulf coast. Zero visibility on the water stopped all sea-going business at the Port of Pascagoula, and left several vessels and their crews out the in Gulf for a long weekend. Going in the fog can be dangerous, and no captain wants to risk his crew or his cargo navigating through the fog.

Congestion costs shippers money. The Port commission factors in several fog out days each year into the budget.

"It's a cost of doing business," said Port Director Mark McAndrews. "We obviously prefer to move cargo and move ships in and out."

When fog does roll in, it's the harbor pilot's decision to stop all water transportation. Harbor pilots say early spring and fall are the foggiest seasons of the year.