Crews complete 75 percent of first debris sweep

Biloxi’s debris-removal teams, who have been working 12-hour days since Sept. 11, had covered three fourths of their first sweep of the city and hauled more than 150,000 cubic yards of debris as of this afternoon, enough debris to cover a football field and stand seven stories high.

More than 300 trucks are hauling debris to sites north of Interstate 10, and Brian Fulton of Neel-Schaffer, the firm overseeing the work, said crews are working to meet Mayor A.J. Holloway’s goal of having all rights-of-way cleared in less than 45 days.

Three firms – Crowder-Gulf Joint Venture, Yates Construction and Ceres Environmental – are working separate areas of the city. The city’s debris removal plan calls for four passes or sweeps of the city rights-of-way to be made, which would allow property owners sufficient time to move debris on their property to the curb, where it could be picked up by debris crews.

The mayor has said the total cost of removing the debris could be around $50 million.

Property owners can help the effort by moving debris from their property to the curb in the next week or so, and they should make sure it is not placed too close to utility poles, water or gas meters, or fire hydrants.

Boil water notice remains in effect south of Bay

“We’re hoping to be able to lift the boil water notice for south of the bay sometime this week,” Mayor A.J. Holloway said today, “but residents need to know that it’s in effect until further notice.

“We’re still working on the water purification systems for our wells on the east end of the town, and we can’t approach the Mississippi Department of Health for clearance until we get that done.

“I’m hoping our Public Works crews can get that done in a matter of days, but until then, those residents south of the bay should continue to boil their water or use bottled water.”

News and notes

Red Cross aid: The American Red Cross will set up a site to offer financial assistance at United Artists Biloxi 10 Theater on Tuesday, Sept. 20, beginning at 9 a.m.

FEMA aid and housing: FEMA is continuing to process requests for financial aid and temporary housing at the Disaster Recovery Center at the Donal Snyder Community Center on Pass Road. The center is open daily from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Those interested in applying should first call 1-800-621-FEMA to register.

Curfew: An 11 p.m.-to-6 a.m. curfew remains in effect in Biloxi. Those caught traveling roadways after 11 p.m. without a valid reason are subject to being ticketed or placed under arrest.

PODs winding down: The Points of Distribution for food, water and ice have been closed at the Food Tiger on Division Street, and at the Joppa Shrine Temple and Woolmarket Community Center.

Storm line: You can hear updated info on the city’s Storm Recovery Line at 228-435-6300.