Jackson County

Lake Mars pier is gone. So is part of Jimmy Buffett Bridge.

Nate washed shrimp boats out of the water along River Road in Jackson County.
Nate washed shrimp boats out of the water along River Road in Jackson County. klnelson@sunherald.com

Jackson county’s emergency management team found damage throughout Jackson County after Hurricane Nate.

The Lake Mars pier — a county project that has taken years of work and a small fortune to finish and protect —is gone, according to county officials. The storm surge took it.

The pier was located in Gulf Park Estates and was difficult to maintain right on the Mississippi Sound, with a boat launch that was constantly exposed to wave action.

The Jimmy Buffett Bridge in Pascagoula took a hit.

One of the sides of the popular bridge is gone, county officials report.

Pascagoula officials closed Beach Boulevard to traffic and said it will remain closed until cleanup efforts are finished and damage can be assessed.

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

Ingalls Shipbuilding in Pascagoula sustained only minor damage during Hurricane Nate, and will return to normal operations beginning with first shift on Monday.

Jackson County Emergency Services Director Earl Etheridge reported:

▪  Three houses and seven mobile homes flooded in Pascagoula, two homes flooded in Moss Point, six in Gautier and one in Ocean Springs.

▪  City buildings were damaged in Pascagoula.

▪  20 roads throughout the county are damaged.

▪  305 people stayed in shelters throughout the county during the peak of the storm.

▪  First responders made two rescues at homes, because trees fell on houses in the county and one water rescue when someone drove into water in Moss Point.

▪  Downed trees that blocked Old River Road and Poticaw Bayou Road in Vancleave were removed shortly after dawn.

▪  The river and flood gauges in Pascagoula topped out 7.6 feet of storm surge.

▪  Unofficially, the surge was 10 feet at Fort Bayou. Etheridge said, “We feel confident that we probably had 11 to 12 feet at least at Gulf Park Estates, St. Andrews area.”

▪  Just over 4 inches of rain fell in Pascagoula.

▪  The highest wind gust was 62 mph in Pascagoula and he believes it was higher in Ocean Springs.

▪  At one point during the storm, Singing River Electric had 16,000 customers without power in the county.

Etheridge, who was interviewed three times during the storm by Jim Cantore for The Weather Channel, has been in emergency operations for many years and watched from the county’s emergency operations center as the storm came in. The EOC lost power shortly after midnight, and was still running on emergency generator the next morning.

While he worked, Nate did damage to his house.

“I found my fence,” Etheridge said. “I’ve got to go find my porch.”

Staff writer Mary Perez contributed to this report.

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