Harrison Co. Tells Property Owners Time To Clean

Nearly 50 Harrison County property owners have been put on notice it's time to clean up the hurricane debris. The letters were directed toward properties the county considers health and safety hazards. District 3 Supervisor Marlin Ladner says the largest concentration is in Henderson Point.

Raymond Swan's house is one of five on his street rebuilt since Katrina. He says unfortunately some of his neighbors whose homes were destroyed have not even started the recovery process.

"When people come out here to rebuild or to buy a piece of property, they look around and they see the devastation," said Swan. "It looks like World War II in Europe after the bombing and so it scares people off."

Harrison County recently sent out dozens of letters to owners "whose property is creating a menace to the health, safety and welfare to the citizens of Harrison County."

Homeowners in Henderson Point say some storm damaged homes are creating problems in the neighborhood.

Swan said, "Uncleaned property means that we have lots of vermin. We've had standing water which means we've had lots of mosquitoes and it just makes the whole area look bad."

"We've had some incidents of theft in the area, which we had never had before," said Candis Olsen. "I think people kind of think this is just a deserted area and no one cares about it and no one is going to do anything about it if they do come in the area and take things."

The mess is a blow to the morale of many people trying to rebuild their homes and their lives.

"It's depressing for us to have to look at all the uncut grass and the debris that's still here," said Olsen.

Swan said it time for the notices.

"It's been since two years now and if you haven't done anything at all to improve your property, at this point, it's not likely that you're going to do that."

If people told to clean up their properties don't, the county might do it for them. That could mean thousands of dollars assessed to their property taxes.

Some residents who didn't want to speak on camera said they feel a large part of the problem is that many homes in Henderson Point are owned by people who live outside the area. They say when it's out of sight, it's out of mind.