Gustav Does Major Damage To Newly Repaired Pass Christian Harbor

By Danielle Thomas - bio | email

PASS CHRISTIAN, MS (WLOX) - It was good news and bad news for the city of Pass Christian. The mayor says there were no reports of major damage to any homes, however the harbor was not so lucky. And that could have a major economic impact on commercial fishermen.

A quick tour of the Pass Christian Yacht Club had Commodore Danny Killeen breathing a sigh of relief.

"Up here in the main part of the building, we just had this one little spot that got wet on the carpet," said Killeen.

Downstairs wasn't quite as fortunate. Gustav washed two feet of water into the club's foyer. The staff worked to clean up the muck and what was left of a building that had served as a temporary yacht club while the new one was under construction to replace the club destroyed by Katrina.

"The pool is filled with rocks. Our outlying buildings are all gone, the locker and the snack bar and kitchen," said Killeen. "But we think that, in time, we'll get it all put back together again."

No one is sure how long it will take to get the Pass Christian Harbor back together and ready for fishermen. Harbor officials say the utilities have been destroyed and the water is full of debris.

Harbor Master Willie Davis said, "The commercial fishermen, until we can get the harbor cleaned out, they're not going to be able to get their boats back in. Oyster season was supposed to open up yesterday, but due to the hurricane, it's kept all these people out of the harbor and them not being able to work."

Officials say much of the damage was caused by boaters who ignored evacuation orders. Their boats became like battering rams. Some boats sank creating navigational hazards for others.

"When we have an evacuation of the boats, we need those people to get the boats out," said Davis. "They don't understand they create more damage by leaving them here and anything that they leave in here that's supposed to be transported out. That just creates more problems for us."

The Pass Christian Harbor was about to enter a third phase of Katrina repairs. The mayor says much of what had just been fixed is destroyed again.

Mayor Chipper McDermott said it's disheartening but the town will "just put our shoes back on and tie them again. Go on about our business."

The mayor says is working with the federal and state government to get a damage assessment and to get the harbor up and running as soon as possible.

Gustav also destroyed the yacht club's newly built pier.