Biloxi launches effort to create disaster, flood plans

The City of Biloxi is launching a public outreach program to update plans to deal with natural or man-made disasters and help alleviate flooding or reduce flooding.

It’s all part of a national effort mandated by the Federal Emergency Management Agency and will ensure that Biloxi remains eligible for relief money to recover from disasters, and may l help further reduce flood insurance rates for Biloxians.

Biloxi’s program will include holding three public meetings to explain the city’s plans and to gather input from residents. Those meetings will be held Feb. 4 (Center Stage Theater in west Biloxi), Feb. 6 (Biloxi Community Center, Howard Avenue) and Feb. 7 Woolmarket Community Center. Each meeting will begin at 6 p.m.

The city has also formed two committees to help formulate two plans: a Hazard Mitigation Committee, which is primarily made up of local government and business leaders who would be impacted by disasters, including emergency services, utility companies and major employers; and a flood committee, which is made up of residents whose property is susceptible to flooding. Both committees will meet regularly to help the city prepare a Hazard Mitigation Plan, which is mandated by the Mississippi and Federal emergency management agencies.

“The big committee will address issues such as chemical spills, either on rail or road; and identify potential hazards and how we’ll do with them,” Mayor A.J. Holloway said. “Our goal is to minimize the impact on life and property. As far as the flood committee, we’ve done a lot of infrastructure work in Biloxi in the past several years. And as a result of our work, our residents have gotten a 10 percent decrease in flood insurance rates. We want to keep working in that direction, and this outreach effort will help us devise a good plan. “What we’d like to see in the meantime is for residents to attend these outreach meetings, see what plans we have in place, and give us their input.”

Hazard Mitigation Planning Committee

Linda Atterberry, Director of Biloxi Civil Defense

Chief Administrative Officer Jim Borsig

Steve Delahousey, American Medial Response

Dr. Larry Drawdy, Biloxi Public Schools

Biloxi Police Chief Bruce Dunagan.

Harrison County Supervisor Bobby Eleuterius

Nicky Filipich, Public Works Dept.

Bill Gleason, CSX Railroad

Jimmy Gouras, consultant

Mayor A.J. Holloway

Dave Kingman, Mississippi Gaming Commission

Beverly Martin, Gulf Coast Gaming Association

David Mauffray, Mississippi Power Co.

Zach Melvin, floodplain manager, City of Biloxi

Michele Moore, Mayor’s Office/FEMA liaison

Kamron Pahlavan, Harrison County Wastewater and Sold Waste Management District

Jim Paulk, Jimmy Gouras Urban Planning Consultants

Harrison County Sheriff George Payne

Biloxi Fire Chief David Roberts

Harrison County Supervisor Connie Rockco

Hank Rogers, Community Development, Building Division

Richard Rose, Harrison County Project Impact Coordinator

Linda Rouse, Director of Harrison County Civil Defense

BellSouth District Manager Rick Stewart

Richard Sullivan, ECO Resources

Larry Tabor, Keesler Air Force Base

Jeff Taylor, Gulf Regional Planning Commission

Bobby Weaver, Harrison County Sand Beach director

Flood Committee members

Mr. Bernard Carlson

Mr. Tom Ferrill

Mr. & Mrs. Gerald Gross

Mr. Sammy Handler

Mr. Lloyd Hulsey

Ms. Magda Leleaux

Ms. Annette Metz

Gen. Bryan Shotts

Ms. Johnnie Smith

Mr. & Mrs. Randall Soboul

Ms. Wanda Stowell

Mrs. Lena Theriot