Damaged Treasure Bay Cleans, Repairs and Prepares - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

10/01/02

Damaged Treasure Bay Cleans, Repairs and Prepares

Skip Russell is a Treasure Bay casino slot technician. Originally, his post-Isidore job was to check for slot machine damage. But he said Hurricane Lili changed those plans. "Right now we're trying to get these games out of the path of the next storm coming in," said Russell.

If Lili was here right now, you could see it simply by looking through the huge holes in Treasure Bay's walls.

Treasure Bay CEO Bernie Burkholder said cleaning up from one storm and preparing for another storm at the same time is significantly more difficult than anything he's done before. Burkholder's casino suffered millions of dollars in damage last week when the tropical storm hit South Mississippi. Isidore blew apart casino walkways. And its powerful storm surge broke right through moorings that were supposed to keep the casino in place.

Engineers are now at the site, trying to develop a new anchor system for the pirate ship themed casino. "We know we've got problems," said Burkholder. "We've identified the areas that those problems existed in. And whatever system goes back on, those problems will be dealt with."

For now, construction workers are on the barge 24 hours a day. They're trying to get Treasure Bay rebuilt and open by October 11th.

As many as a third of the casino's employees are also doing what they can to clean up what Isidore left behind. Terri Warley is one of the casino managers who is on a clean up team. "I see a lot of people working hard," she said. "Just everyone coming together to get it back the way it was."

According to Burkholder, "Barring any unforeseen structural damage and any negative effects from Lili, I feel pretty confident that we will open on the eleventh."

by Brad Kessie

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