Re-lighting, tours of Biloxi Lighthouse planned for this month

The Biloxi Lighthouse will have a two-day re-dedication ceremony this month, including a re-lighting and four hours of free public tours of the city’s signature landmark.

The two-day affair will see the formal return of a landmark that has become emblematic of Coastwide efforts to recover and rebuild from Hurricane Katrina. The six-month, $400,000 restoration of the lighthouse was substantially completed in January.

The lighting ceremony will take place Friday, Feb. 19 at 5:45 p.m., and the free public tours will be available Saturday, Feb. 20, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Inside the lighthouse, visitors will see a display that will show waterlines from hurricanes that have struck Biloxi through the years. Each waterline will be marked with the name of the storm and the date.

The renovation, which involved the architectural firm Dale & Associates and contractor J.O. Collins, involved returning the lighthouse to its original grandeur. Initial phases of the work included removing the wrought iron fence at the base of the structure. While the fence was being restored, workers moved inside, restoring the bricks that lined the inside of the 64-foot tall cast-iron structure. Midway through the process, the lighthouse was enveloped by scaffolding and shrouded by a tarp while workers prepared its exterior for re-painting.

The project was significant because the storm-ravaged Biloxi Lighthouse — erected in 1848 — has come to symbolize the city’s resilience, standing tall amid the debris in the days after Katrina. In 2007, two years after the storm, the likeness of the lighthouse was chosen for an award-winning Mississippi license tag, and in 2009, the U.S. Postal Service included a likeness of the lighthouse on a series of stamps about surviving lighthouses of the Gulf Coast.

Biloxi Lighthouse photos

New views: To see fresh photos of the Biloxi Lighthouse – some taken last week under clear skies and others taken this morning under overcast skies and also from inside the structure — click here.

Through the years: To see photos of the Biloxi Lighthouse through the years – including images of the lighthouse in 1909, after the storm of 1919, in the 1930s, and as it appeared pre- and post-Katrina – click here.

Weather Service issues flood warnings for area rivers

The National Weather Service has issued flood warnings for the following rivers in Harrison County:

The Tchoutacabouffa River is forecast to rise above flood stage Friday morning and crest at 9.0 feet and stay above flood stage until Saturday. Flood stage for the river is 8.0 feet. This will impact low-lying areas along the river in Biloxi.

The Biloxi River is forecast to rise above flood stage tonight and continue to rise and crest near 15 feet on Friday. Flood stage for the river is 12.0 feet. Some roads will become impassable and flooding will occur in the Retreat Village area and around the Woolmarket Lake area of Biloxi and Gulfport.

In Pass Christian, the Wolf River is forecast to rise above flood stage Friday and crest at 9.0 feet Saturday. This will affect low-lying areas along the river.

Emergency Management leaders say this is the time to make necessary precautions for flooding and to continue to monitor local media for weather updates.

News and notes

Marlin reminder: Marlin Miller, whose work has catapulted Biloxi’s Katrina sculpture project to national attention, will be featured on “Mississippi Roads” this evening at 7, with an encore showing Saturday at 5:30 p.m.

Soccer, basketball: Biloxi High’s girls soccer team will be playing for a state title this weekend, and the junior high boys basketball team plays for a local championship this afternoon. To see more about these events — and to read about other events of note in Biloxi schools — click here.