Biloxi Cleans Up Its Mardi Gras Mess

The streets of downtown Biloxi looked a lot better Wednesday night than they did at daybreak. All that debris left over from the city's Mardi Gras parade is gone.

Biloxi Public Works employees knew their job Wednesday morning was to pick up all the Mardi Gras trash that littered city streets. What they didn't count on was an overnight storm that made a messy situation even messier.

"When we first came out here, it was kind of overwhelming," said public works employee Russell Lepoma.

One of his associates called the mess "horrible." That word aptly described what Biloxi looked like a day after the Mardi Gras mayhem was over. So workers broke out rakes to snatch up the messy remains of Tuesday's raucous street party. Shovels then scooped up the trash that so many revelers left behind.

Woody Alexander was on the clean up detail. "Got to do what you've got to do. All in a day's work," he said.

While Alexander's clean up team focused on ground level debris, Joseph Waldrop looked skyward. If wayward beads were caught in tree limbs, they ended up around the Biloxi man's neck. Waldrop rode his bike around the parade route and stopped every time he saw a collection of Mardi Gras throws.

"Get the good beads left over," he said, describing what he was doing.

Waldrop found his beads just before Biloxi's barricade team arrived. All those metal fences that were put out on Monday to keep people away from floats had to go back into storage.

"Oh yeah, it's work," Cleo Waits said.

The work to get rid of Biloxi's hangover suffered a bit of a setback when overnight rain soaked the paper products left along the parade route.

They may have been overwhelmed when they started, "But after a couple of hours, it started shaping up. It's looking better," admitted Lepoma.