Beach Project May Give Protection To Some Pascagoula Homeowners

PASCAGOULA (WLOX) -- When Katrina rolled ashore, Pascagoula resident Jean Huyette lost just about everything inside her home.

"Katrina was a total disaster," Huyette said. "I had four and a half feet of water, almost five feet in my house."

But a new, federally funded project may help give Huyette and her beachfront neighbors an extra line of defense against future storms.

"What we are doing is extending the sand beach and bulkhead from the eastside all the way to the westside. We are working with partners, with the county and the Corps of Engineers," Pascagoula Mayor Matthew Avera said.

Mayor Avera was among the dozens of residents who listened Thursday night as details of the $7 million plan were unveiled. The new beach will stretch more than 150 feet into the Mississippi Sound.

But some beach front homeowners say they are worried about how the plans will affect their properties.

Pascagoula Councilman Frank Corder said he understands their concerns.

"I think the biggest concern is the infringement of pier rights. They will still have access to that, but it will be out further than closer. This is a project that should help strengthen our city," Corder said.

Homeowner Jean Huyette believes any protection is better than no protection.

"It will help. I don't know if anything will stop what we had in Katrina, but it will protect."

Mayor Avera said residents will not have to pay for the new beach. He's hoping the Corps of Engineers starts the project by early 2009.