Vancleave experiences post Katrina population boom

Vancleave, MS (WLOX) - Seeing new faces buying food at H. P. Davis Grocery is really no surprise these days.

"A lot of people have moved out of here," Store Owner John Tillman said.

John Tillman bought the Vancleave store one year ago.

"It is growing community, a lot of growth area," Tillman said.

The growth is evident on Highway 57; traffic has increased, and there coffee shops, gas stations, and hardware stores that have also set up shop.  According to the Jackson County Planning Department, nearly two thousand people moved to Vancleave after the storm and five different subdivisions have gone up.

"It's to get away from the flood and Katrina, and insurance rates are a little cheaper out here, and get out of that wind pool," Tillman said.

Pastor Don Boone of First Baptist Church couldn't agree more, he recently relocated from Alabama and believes the town has great potential.

"There new home starts and our schools  have seen a tremendous growth as a result of people coming, so that has been a good thing," Pastor Boone said.

"It depends on who you talk to you talk to because the old people who live up here they don't like it; simple country folks want to live in a simple country," Sheriff's Deputy Mitchell McMillan said.

The population boom has affected the simple life. Jackson County Sheriff's Deputy Mitchell McMillian says he sees it everyday patrolling the streets.  In fact, McMillan says his work has doubled post Katrina.

"We get a lot of calls; we get everything from a man with a gun to my neighbors knocking over the mailbox. We are still keeping a handle on it, but a lot more people means a lot more drama and  more business for us."