Piers Costly To Replace

Hubert Lindsey loves to fish, but he says he'd rather do it from the Urie pier instead of from the nearby concrete jetty. Tropical Storm Isidore damaged the pier forcing the City of Gulfport to close it and the Ken Combs pier at Courthouse Road.

"They were supposed to do a good job in fixin' the piers last time. I mean we didn't have a real storm this time, we just had a light storm," Lindsey says.

The Payton family is also disappointed that they found their favorite fishing spot off limits.

Brian Payton says, "I like the piers better,  I like 'em a lot better."

Instead of giving up a day of fishing, the Payton's tried their luck from the jetty, but Andrea Payton says she hopes the pier reopens soon.

"I hope it'll be within the next month at least. I was really upset because we didn't even know the storm had torn it up," she says.

Gulfport officials estimate it will cost about $700,000 to totally repair or replace the damaged piers.

In Biloxi, several piers are closed. City officials say that's only temporary though since piers are an asset.

Biloxi Community Development Director, David Staehling says, "Access to the water is very important, particularly fishin', crabbin', water sports, so it's important to us that we go ahead and reinvest in those even though they tend to take on a lot of damage after these storms."

Staehling says the the piers are expensive but worth maintaining.

"Fortunately we have insurance coverage and we also are able to get reimbursed from FEMA and MEMA if the declaration is made to support it."

Picture submitted by WLOX viewer Gil Murray.