Coast harbors busy as boats return following evacuations

Coast harbors busy as boats return following evacuations

HARRISON COUNTY, MS (WLOX) - Boat owners were quick to return their vessels to Coast boat harbors following Tuesday's mandatory evacuations.

Most of South Mississippi escaped the worst of Tropical Storm Gordon on Tuesday.

Boater Glenn Whiteman was ready to get things back to normal. He was at the Biloxi Small Craft Harbor early Wednesday morning, tying his boat back into place. "I'm glad I'm back here now. I can go home and do the regular things I do," he said.

Evacuation orders were issued Tuesday for Biloxi, Gulfport and Long Beach harbors as Tropical Storm Gordon threatened the Coast. Fortunately, the storm stayed to the east, leaving harbors in Harrison County untouched.

Whiteman says he still has no regrets. "You kind of wish you didn't have to move, but you glad you did move because it could have been a big storm. Err on the side of caution, or caution on the side of err, or whatever on it," he said.

Long Beach harbormaster William Angley feels the same: better safe, than sorry.

"As a boat owner, everybody needs to be aware. This thing happened. Sometimes it comes our way, sometimes it doesn't. But its better to be gone, than sit here and get torn up," Angley said. "We are truly blessed that it didn't turn worse. Truly blessed."

He said most people were quick and willing to comply with the evacuation orders. Most of those who didn't, he says, were either physically unable to, or had a boat that wouldn't run.

That's what happened to boat owner Gene Davis. So instead he secured it best he could, and kept his fingers crossed. If anyone is breathing a sigh of relief this morning, it's him.

"We were blessed by nothing. I mean no rain, no wind, and that was good," Davis said.

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