Rodents invading Long Beach

By A.J. Giardina - bio | email

Just off Highway 90 in Long Beach you can still see debris hanging in trees, that was left when flood waters subsided back into the

Mississippi Sound following Hurricane Katrina.

Hundreds of homes were destroyed and only slabs remain because many of the residents decided not to rebuild. The vacant lots are overgrown with weeds.

"In this un-clean property you'll find rodents."

JoAnna Hudson lives three blocks from the beach. She says mice and rats have invaded the area, becoming a nuisance.

Hudson says, "Well we've had one lady that has killed, she said ten in about two weeks. I have a gentleman who lives north of me and he says he kills one or two every week."

Hudson says she and her neighbors spent thousands of dollars cleaning up their Long Beach properties, but she wants to know why the city hasn't enforced cleanup of vacant lots.

"I feel that Long Beach has failed us in cleaning up this property and are not sincere. And they seem to not care of what happens south of the tracks," says Hudson.

Long Beach building official Earl Levens says the city is doing what it can. He says property owners who haven't cleaned up their lots are sent a letter to comply. If they don't (comply), the city will have someone clean up the property and put it against the tax rolls.

Levens says, "They have just changed the law that they will have to pay it in the year that it occurred. As to before they didn't have to pay it until they sold the property or whatever. It could be five, ten years down the road. But at least now the state law allows for it to be collected in the year that it was done."

Long Beach contractor Ronnie Barker says there's an epidemic of rodents running loose south of the railroad tracks.

Barker says, "It's in such a mess down there south of the tracks; I hate to see it getting all grown up."

Barker says he has spare time on the weekends, and he's willing to do what he can in helping elderly residents south of the railroad tracks in Long Beach.

"People 65 or over that are either on disability, they can get in touch with me, and I'll bush hog their lot and take down any dead trees that is on the lot and get it out to the road with no charge," Barker says.

Anyone 65 and over and living south of the railroad tracks in Long Beach who needs Barker's services can call him at 228-596-3301.