Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Blowing in the Wind

I saw this photo by AMANDA McCOY/SUN HERALD and wrote an email for the Sound Off section:

On your web-site, I saw pictures of Highway 90 covered in sand. After Hurricane Katrina, the seawall steps were once again exposed and you had to go down 5 or more steps to reach the beach. Since the beach has been replenished, there are only two steps necessary to gain to access to the beach. To me, it would seem this contributes to all the sand blowing around on Highway 90 now. It also reduces the elevation and negates protection from the seawall.

I doubt if this one will be published. It is the third one I've written concerning the seawall and how the beach was replenished. I question the wisdom of reducing by 4 or more feet the protection the seawall offers. I also had questions if this contributed in any way to the severe flooding from Hurricane Katrina's storm surge along the beach front. The seawall is 26 miles long and is supposed to protect cities from Biloxi to Pass Christian. When my family first moved down here in 1969, you had to go down 6 steps, which is about 6 feet to gain access to the beach.

In the years since then, during beach replenishment, the sand was brought in and it only took two steps to gain access to the beach. It makes the beach more accessible to tourists and locals but I think it destroyed the purpose of the seawall. I cannot help but wonder if damage from Katrina's surge would have been less severe to some homes if there had been just 4 more feet of protection the seawall once offered.

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