Clean-up continues throughout weekend

Several dozen city crews worked all today and will be back on the job again Sunday, picking up Hurricane Ivan storm debris along major thoroughfares and neighborhood streets. And Mayor A.J. Holloway says it’s too early to say how much debris there is because many residents may have not yet begun cleaning their property.

After assessing damage and debris citywide Thursday afternoon, Holloway ordered Biloxi Public Works Director Richard Sullivan to immediately organize city crews to begin the chore of removing debris from city streets — and to work all day Friday and throughout the weekend. At the same time, the city set up six debris collection sites, where residents could drop off hurricane debris.

Those who decide to place debris at the curb in front of their property should bag leaves to keep them from entering city storm drains.

“We appreciate residents who have helped out by taking their storm debris to the neighborhood debris sites,” Holloway said. “That’s been a big help, but we realize that not everyone is able to transport debris. For those who can’t, we stress the need for leaves to be bagged when left at the curb. Otherwise, they’ll find their way into storm drains and cause flooding problems.”

Despite the city’s weekend clean-up efforts, Holloway said he expects to see significant amounts of debris Monday morning.

“Many residents who evacuated may have been delayed in returning home or had other things to tend to when they did return,” the mayor said. “I suspect they won’t get around to cleaning their property until Sunday. We’ll get it all, but it might take a couple of passes. In the meantime, we appreciate everyone’s patience, and please understand that our crews are working hard and as quickly as they can.”

You can see the location of the city’s six debris sites online at

Popp’s Ferry bridge back to normal operations

Tenders at the Popp’s Ferry bridge on Saturday afternoon said most of the vessels that moved up river earlier in the week to avoid Hurricane Ivan had made their way back to waterfront harbors and marinas.

During a 12-hour period on Tuesday, from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., the bridge’s draw was raised to allow more than 292 vessels to pass.

The bridge re-opened for marine traffic Thursday at 4 p.m., and 125 vessels needed the span raised in the first seven hours of operation. On Friday, from 6:50 a.m. to 11:07 p.m., another 125 vessels passed through the open draw. Another 47 boats passed through Saturday between 7:03 a.m. and 5:30 p.m.

To help move a larger number of vessels through the span and to avoid tying up vehicular traffic with frequent openings of the span, bridge tenders opened the span for 10 minutes each half hour during peak periods before and after the storm.

Most of the first vessels to pass through the span after the hurricane were working shrimp boats, tenders said.