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Lott, Cochran: More than $13 Million Slated for Post Katrina Beaches, Schools, Ports, Debris Removal and Utility Repair Reimbursements

From: Office of Sen. Trent Lott   Filed 7/21/06  GCN

Federal grant funding totaling more than $13 million is approved for use along the Mississippi Gulf Coast as part of ongoing federal assistance in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, U.S. Senators Trent Lott and Thad Cochran said Friday. (The money covers many of the projects already underway or for funds expended on some projects, including the infamous Rotting Chicken that spilled into a Gulfport neighborhood from the port in Gulfport.- GCN)

“This is but the latest installment of federal grant assistance targeted toward restoring Mississippi’s communities hardest hit by Hurricane Katrina,” Senator Lott said.  “Our beaches, ports, schools and public utilities help define our communities and enable recovery and growth. Senator Cochran and I continue working hard to ensure Washington fully supports Mississippi’s rebuilding and recovery needs.”

Today’s funding, which will be dispersed through the Federal Emergency Management Agency,  includes:

$2,048,804.78 (Federal share) - Hancock County Public Beaches - Hurricane Katrina severely damaged approximately six miles of public beaches along the shoreline extending from US 90 southwest to Beach Road in Hancock County. This is part of the estimated cost to restore the beaches to their pre-disaster condition and elevation.

$4,447,390.07 (Federal share) - Catholic Diocese of Biloxi School Building Damage - The Mercy Cross High School was damaged by high wind, heavy rain, and storm surge. Damage to the 35,648 SF building has been estimated at 53% making the facility eligible for demolition and replacement. This represents a portion of the estimated cost, less insurance proceeds, to restore the facility to its pre-disaster design, capacity, and function. Plans are to rebuild the school at a different site that is outside the flood plain.

$3,206,960.44 - Hancock County Port & Harbor Commission Protective Measures - The Hancock County Port & Harbor Commission (HCPHC) took emergency protective measures within the Port Bienville Industrial Park (PBIP) to move 592 railcars of which 120 were either derailed or partially derailed. Also, 48 railcars were known by the Commission to contain hazardous materials. In order to protect the public health and speed the economic recovery, the Commission contracted with a contractor that had experience in the removal and recovery of railroad cars and tracks. This $3,206,960.44 represents the cost to make temporary repairs to 1.2 miles of unstable, bent and/or unleveled track and to get the 120 derailed cars back on the tracks, and so that all 592 rail cars could be safely moved.

 $1,611,915.77 - City of Gulfport Debris Removal - Hurricane Katrina caused containers located at the Gulfport Harbor to float inland, and become damaged. Damage caused many of the containers to open up and spill their contents on public and private property in the City of Gulfport. Some of these containers were filled with raw chicken and pork bellies creating biohazard debris which caused an immediate threat to public health and safety. This $1,611,915.77 represents the cost to have a special biohazard team remove, haul and dispose of 2,019,320 lbs of raw chicken and pork.

$1,938,465.00 (Federal share) - Diamondhead Water & Sewer District Public Utilities - The Storm surge from Hurricane Katrina reached twenty five feet in Hancock County, MS and caused salt water flooding that damaged the applicants sewer lift stations. This represents part of the estimated repair cost, including engineering and design, to repair or replace, as necessary the electrical control systems, pump motors, lights, and access roads leading to16 lift stations in the Diamondhead Water & Sewer District.

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