Cruisin’ sets records – high and low

Cruisin’ The Coast and the Biloxi Police Department both had a record-setting year for the just-concluded 22nd year of “America’s largest block party.”

Cruisin’ The Coast had a record high – 8,444 registered cars – and Biloxi Police had a record low – only 55 traffic tickets written, less than a third of the citations from last year’s event.

“We think the traffic plan helped a lot,” said Biloxi Police Chief John Miller, whose department this year introduced traffic cones on U.S. 90, in case lanes needed to be reserved for emergency vehicles. “We think people respected the cones, we think they served as a good visual reminder, and we think we had fewer people stunting this year.

“We also want to thank everybody for their patience,” Miller added. “We know it was heavy traffic and it was slow-moving, but it nearly always moved. There were a couple times when it almost stopped, but we were able to close a few turnarounds and we never had to go to one lane.”

Police also reported that only six cars were towed the entire week, compared to 17 last year.

The traffic tickets, however, were far below previous years: Police wrote 180 tickets in 2017 and 2016, and 272 in 2015.

Biloxi Police had every available officer in uniform for the event, and a dozen officers from other departments were recruited as well.

For Cruisin’ itself, the 8,444 registered cars eclipsed the 2017 total of 8,308. The field of registrants covered 44 states, Canada, Germany and Australia. Registration is already underway for 2019.
See images from the downtown Biloxi Block Party
Visit the Cruisin’ website


Hurricane Michael appears Florida-bound

Emergency managers are continuing to monitor freshly minted Hurricane Michael, and a Coastal Flood Advisory is in effect for east-facing shores of Louisiana and Mississippi, but the storm appears headed for landfall at the Florida Panhandle or the Florida Big Bend area on Wednesday.

Biloxi Police, however, this morning closed the low-lying section of Cedar Lake Road near the Cedar Lake bridge after rain and high tide inundated the roadway. In fact, forecasters say a strong east wind will keep tides one to two feet above normal today and tonight.

The National Hurricane Center early this morning issued Tropical Storm and Hurricane watches for east of the Mississippi/Alabama border before upgrading Micahel to a hurricane.

On the current forecast track, the center of Michael will pass near the western tip of Cuba within the hour or so and move into the southeastern Gulf of Mexico by tonight. Michael will move across the eastern Gulf of Mexico Tuesday and Tuesday night, is expected to move inland over the Florida Panhandle or Florida Big Bend area on Wednesday, and then move northeastward across the southeastern United States Wednesday night and Thursday.

Maximum sustained winds are near 75 mph with higher gusts. Steady to rapid strengthening is forecast during the next day or so, and Michael is forecast to become a major hurricane by Tuesday or Tuesday night.
See the Michael track and forecast
See the current conditions and forecast for Biloxi


News & notes: Weekly review, splash pads, seniors, homecoming, council

The week that was: Last week, the Fire Department answered 146 calls for service, including 82 medical emergencies and six fires; the Police Department handled 2,325 calls for service; the Community Development Department issued 64 building permits with a construction valuation of nearly $3 million; and the Engineering Department continued to progress on projects throughout the city.  To see the reports covering last week, click here. 

Splash pads:  The Biloxi Parks & Recreation Department today has closed all four city maintained splash pads for the winter.  The splash pads are located at Hiller Park, John Henry Beck Park, Point Cadet Plaza and behind the Margaret Sherry Library. To visit the Parks & Recreation page, click here.

Tea time:  The Richmond August Funeral Home, along with the City of Biloxi Parks & Recreation Department, presents Time for Tea, A Community Tea Party for seniors, their caregivers, family and friends on Tuesday from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.  The event is free and takes place at the Dr. Frank G. Gruich Sr. Community Center.  To see the flyer, click here.

BPS homecoming:  The Biloxi Public School System is holding its annual homecoming parade Thursday evening and are asking local businesses and organizations to participate. For more information, click here.  

City council:  The next scheduled meeting for the Biloxi City Council is Tuesday, Oct. 16 at 1:30 p.m. at Biloxi City Hall. To visit the council page, click here.