BILOXI, Miss. (WLOX) - Heavy winds and rain have pounded the shores of South Mississippi. Now that the bulk of Tropical Storm Cristobal’s damaging winds and rain are behind us, the work of cleaning up begins. Most of the work will be focused on our 26 miles of beaches. While, in some spots, the waves haven’t fully subsided; what’s left is a largely eroded shoreline and minor destruction that will take weeks to clean up.
A little more than a week ago, South Mississippi’s beaches were crawling with people. A welcomed change after the coronavirus brought everything to a screeching halt. Now, less than 24 hours after Cristobal’s lashing, it is a very different scene.
“It took a beating, it really did—from a small tropical story, it really did. It was more like a category one or a small category two storm, but it did take a beating," said Harrison County Sand Beach Authority Director, Chuck Loftis.
Seaweeds, logs and random trash on the beaches stretch from the end of South Mississippi to the other. Popular among tourists and locals alike, many of the bonfire pits along the Gulf Coast have been upended. But that, unfortunately, won’t be the primary focus in the coming days.
“Hopefully tomorrow morning we’ll start out and start trying to pick up the debris. Fire pits will come later on. The main thing is to try and get the debris up so that people can utilize the beach," Loftis said.
And clean up won’t be easy. “It’s gonna take a while. We’ll have help from the Harrison County Road Department, but I mean we’ve got 26 miles. It’s gonna take a while, it really is," Loftis told WLOX.
As the waves die down and the winds subside, people can be fooled into thinking that it’s all over. But we’re not out of harm’s way yet.
“I see a lot of people walking on the shoreline and the trash line. We had a lot of pier damage. So, they’ve got to realize there’s a lot of boards with nails, so please be careful," Loftis said. “I wouldn’t recommend being down here until we get some of this debris picked up. But, you know, use your own judgment,” said Loftis.