Wicker, Cochran Announce $54 Million in Assistance for Biloxi, Gulfport

January 24, 2008

WASHINGTON, DC – Federal funding totaling more than $54 million has been awarded to the cities of Biloxi and Gulfport, U.S. Senators Roger Wicker and Thad Cochran announced today.  The grant, administered by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), is awarded for the repair of sewer and water distribution lines and meters damaged by Hurricane Katrina.  The funds will also cover the repair of streets and other public infrastructure affected by work on the damaged utilities.

“During my recent visit to the area, I was encouraged by the tremendous efforts that residents across the Gulf Coast are putting forward towards rebuilding their communities, Wicker said.  “However, the job is far from complete.  I intend to work with Senator Cochran and the rest of the Mississippi delegation to ensure our colleagues in Congress remember there is still work to be done in South Mississippi, and that more federal funding like this is needed.” 
“Nearly two and a half years have passed since Hurricane Katrina brought unprecedented destruction to Mississippi’s Gulf Coast,” Cochran said.  “I am pleased federal funds continue to be awarded to repair damage to utilities.  I am committed to continuing to work with my colleagues in Congress to ensure federal attention is given to the great need that still exists in our State.  I am encouraged by the level of determination South Mississippians continue to demonstrate as we rebuild together.”

Details on the awards are as follows:

GULFPORT - $30,369,424 - The City of Gulfport owns and maintains a potable water system, the sanitary sewer system and the storm water collection/drainage system much of which were damaged by Hurricane Katrina south of the CSX Railroad. This damaged area of the infrastructure system was divided into separate sections, and this award addresses the area spanning from Oaks Avenue to East City Limits and CSX Railroad to U.S. Highway 90. Specific damages in this area include broken fire hydrants, exposed and busted utility lines, damaged sewer manholes, drainage inlets, water/sewer services and meters to private property. The scope of work includes replacing all wastewater lines, mains, service connections, meters, meter saddles and meter pits. Upon completion of the above work, roads, curbs and affected sidewalks will require repair and/or replacement.

BILOXI - $24,200,615 - Hurricane Katrina inundated the City of Biloxi, severely damaging the city’s water distribution, sewer collection, and drainage systems. The storm surge placed a substantial column of water on top of the systems, subjecting the existing mains to increase pressures that they were not designed to withstand; the loss of manhole tops allowed the gravity sewer system to take on massive amounts of debris and sand, clogging the sewer mains. The receding storm surge and damage to the mains created voids above and beneath the sewer mains by eroding the existing ground beneath the mains or by allowing sediment and other materials to enter the mains via openings at joints or cracks. This funding will cover repairs to the water distribution, sewage collection, and drainage systems in Beauvoir, which include Balmoral Ave, Beauvoir Ave, Brady Dr, Bradfield Ave, Debuys Rd, Edgewater Dr, Eisenhower Dr, Gateway Dr., Grande View, Hwy 90 (West of Beach Boulevard) Maison D’Orleans, Oakmont Pl, Pine Grove Ave. and Service Dr.