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The Sun Herald's publishing plans

The Sun Herald will produce an Extra Edition on Wednesday that will be delivered free of charge to hurricane shelters across the Mississippi Gulf Coast. We will leave sufficient copies so that anyone who would wish to receive a copy may drop by the shelter nearest to them to get theirs.

Due to the approach of Hurricane Ivan, normal home delivery will not be possible.

As soon as it is possible, we will resume our regular schedule of publication, but obviously that will be impacted by the storm.

Every day that we are unable to produce and deliver a paper to subscribers we intend to produce papers that will be delivered to storm shelters. We have in place a number of contingency plans to continue publication should our printing facilities be impaired.

-- The Editors

Eye on Ivan

A South Mississippi hurricane journal

Wednesday, September 15, 2004

Tour of Gulfport Harbor 

I just took about an hour's tour starting around 6 p.m. with two other press-types down to the Gulfport Harbor with Gulfport Fire Department Chief Pat Sullivan. We started down 20th Avenue on the eastern edge of the harbor. Waves of 4 to 5 feet were threatening to submerge Moses Pier, which juts out to the east about halfway down the harbor. The waves were lapping at the road there, too.

We stayed out there for about 10 minutes. The winds weren't too bad yet, although you could feel an increase in intensity in the time we were out there. It also wasn't raining very hard either.

We left and went west down the harbor and pulled past Marine Life where we saw Moby Solangi, the facilities president, leaving after making one final check on his people who will stay there to ride out the storm with the animals.

Our next stop was a quick drive-by of the Copa Casino. There, we could see rolling waves -- without white caps -- in the protected harbor. They were starting to threaten the concrete bulkhead to the south of the casino, but it appeared to be doing well so far.

The next casino on our tour was the Gulfport Grand, again just to the west. Conditions there were much different. As happened in Isidore a few years ago, the gambling barge has floated significantly higher because of the storm surge. The ramp to the north side at the east end of the casino had fallen off the barge. In Isidore, that ramp severed gas mains, nearly causing a catastrophy. The gas supply to those pipes have been stopped at the road to avoid a similar incident.

Still, the sight of the ever-present "Watch Your Step" signs that guard the entrances to all our Coast casinos looked rather humorous in this setting. It would now be about a 10-foot step up to get to the casino floor, although the entrance is now blocked by rolling shutters. It appeared the barge had risen about 4 feet with the other 6 feet caused by the fall of the ramp. The entrance ramp on the north side of the casino has also separated about 4 feet from the barge. There was one truckload of Gulfport firement there when we arrived. A pumper truck and another pickup truck arrived while we were there, as well as a large contingent of Mississippi Power personnel.

-- reported by Don Hammack

Don Hammack

Don Hammack is a staff writer for the Sun Herald. He can be reached at or
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   •  September 2004

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