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Mississippi Hurricane Damage Assessment: Nate hits, but not so hard

The Mississippi Gulf Coast was lucky this time. Hurricane Nate did some damage, but not as much as it could have been and not as much as it would have been years ago.

How much damage did the Mississippi Gulf Coast receive? Jackson County took the hardest hit from the storm. Here’s what we know so far from there (the Sun Herald and Associated Press):

*The Lake Mars Pier is gone.

*The Jimmy Buffett Bridge in Pascagoula lost one of its sides.

*The Belle Fontaine Beach Road south of St. Andrews subdivision has areas there were washed out.

*20 roads in Jackson County are damaged.

*A handful of houses and mobile homes were damaged.

More than 20,000 people in Mississippi lost power but most were expected to have power restored by late Sunday.

From the Associated Press: Hurricane Nate brought a burst of flooding and power outages to the U.S. Gulf Coast before weakening rapidly Sunday, sparing the region the kind of catastrophic damage left by a series of hurricanes that hit the southern U.S. and Caribbean in recent weeks.

Hurricane Nate brought a burst of flooding and power outages to the U.S. Gulf Coast before weakening rapidly Sunday, sparing the region the kind of catastrophic damage left by a series of hurricanes that hit the southern U.S. and Caribbean in recent weeks.

Nate — the first hurricane to make landfall in Mississippi since Katrina in 2005 — quickly lost strength, with its winds diminishing to a tropical depression as it pushed northward into Alabama and toward Georgia with heavy rain. It was a Category 1 hurricane when it came ashore outside Biloxi early Sunday, its second landfall after initially hitting southeastern Louisiana on Saturday evening.

The storm surge from the Mississippi Sound littered Biloxi’s main beachfront highway with debris and flooded a casino’s lobby and parking structure overnight.

By dawn, however, Nate’s receding floodwaters didn’t reveal any obvious signs of widespread damage .

Lee Smithson, director of the state emergency management agency, said damage from Nate was held down in part because of work done and lessons learned from Katrina.

“If that same storm would have hit us 15 years ago, the damage would have been extensive and we would have had loss of life.” Smithson said of Nate. “But we have rebuilt the coast in the aftermath of Katrina higher and stronger.”

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