Long Beach harbor to get $2.1M in GOMESA funds to build back stronger following Hurricane Zeta damage

Updated: Jun. 3, 2021 at 8:11 AM CDT
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LONG BEACH, Mississippi (WLOX) - A revitalization is on the horizon in Long Beach. The small craft harbor was torn apart during Hurricane Zeta and clean up efforts have not been easy. Now, state reinforcements are on the way.

Hurricane Zeta ripped ramps and decks apart. The category three storm sunk ships and has forced the city to consider large-scale changes.

“You talk about repetitive damage. You look that up in the dictionary and it shows you a picture of our harbor,” said Long Beach Mayor George Bass.

City leaders are now working to make structural changes that would protect the harbor from future storms and give the city a resource they can be proud of. It’s an effort that is getting full support from Gov. Tate Reeves.

“We would be foolish to rebuild back exactly the same way that something was if it could just get torn down again,” said Reeves. “So it is all about rebuilding bigger, better and stronger in such a way that we can withstand the next storm.”

On Wednesday, Reeves met with city leaders and announced $2.1 million in GOMESA funding that will benefit the Long Beach Small Craft Harbor. The money will allow the city to construct a bulkhead wall that will better protect it from tropical systems.

Reeves said he hopes to see progress on this project in the next few months.

“We expect and anticipate that there could actually be movement in the next several months on this project and many others by the way,” said Reeves.

That’s good news for fishermen because, right now, boats are only able to be launched from the northern most pier.

“The northern most pier, we have checked it out,” said Bass. “It is safe to be able to launch a boat on.”

The City of Long Beach is still working to acquire funding from other agencies to help with the project, including FEMA.

Gov. Reeves will be in Bay St. Louis on Thursday morning to announce an additional GOMESA project there.

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