Residents of Mississippi’s Gulf Coast set to work Tuesday to recover from a savage beating by Hurricane Elena, grateful that this time there was something left to repair.
“Right now, it’s time to get back on our feet and get this community back in shape,” said Harrison County Civil Defense Director Wade Guice, who faced Hurricane Camille in 1969.
He estimated that damage could exceed the $500-million toll from Hurricane Frederic in 1979.
Hurricane Camille, with its 200-m.p.h. winds, did $3.8-billion damage and killed 256 persons.
A total of 17,290 dwellings in Mississippi, Alabama and Florida sustained some damage during the storm, according to the American Red Cross.
At least 14,200 Mississippi families suffered some loss in the latest hurricane, with 200 single-family homes destroyed, said American Red Cross spokeswoman Terry Gautier.
More than 100,000 Gulf Coast residents were without electricity Tuesday.
Despite the damage, no deaths were reported along the Mississippi coast. However, the death toll from the storm rose to four Tuesday when the New Orleans coroner’s office attributed a death at sea to the hurricane.
By Tuesday, the storm had degenerated into heavy rainstorms over Arkansas, Oklahoma and northeastern Texas.