Piling fails, halts ferry

The new ferry service across the Bay of St. Louis had a hiccup on its third day of operation.

A piling failed at the Bay St. Louis terminal on a windy day Friday, perhaps exposing a material flaw.

"The direction of wind and severity put too much pressure on the pile," said Dietrich Giles, the ferry general manager for Hornblower Marine Services. "Normally what was put out there would have been adequate for what we're doing."

Giles said they were bringing a barge in Friday afternoon to help shore up the mooring. Hornblower expects to be back in operation this morning.

He said they expect to be able to operate in most normal wind conditions here. If it gets up to 35 or 40 knots, it would create problems.

The wind's direction may also play a part in determining when the ferry can operate in the future.

"We're a little concerned about the water depth once we have a good northerly wind," Giles said. "Everybody knows how much water flows out of here. We feel that we'll be able to manage with that, but not having done it we can't say for certain."