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Buildings on the 400 Block of US Route 90
Biloxi, Mississippi

The five-story building to the left in Figure 1 is an older reinforced concrete building with unreinforced masonry infill located in the 400 block of US Route 90 in Biloxi, MS. The primary damage to the structure on the front southeast corner was caused by the impact of a three-story casino barge that floated ashore because of the storm surge. The casino shown in the right of Figure 1 has visible damage on its rear right corner. Based on the height of the damage to the building, it appears that the barge was raised approximately 1 meter above ground at the time of impact, implying a possible storm surge of approximately 4 meters at the time of impact.

A closer look at the structural damage to the building structure is shown in Figures 2 and 3. Only one corner column of the building was severely damaged by the impact, resulting in the collapse of one bay by one bay at the bottom four stories of the building. The beams at the fourth level were sufficiently strong to form a redundant load path for the load on the column at the upper story. Other than a few missing window panes, the south façade of the structure appears in good shape away from the region of impact. Thus it is probable that this building would have faired well through the storm, with the exception of possible flood damage to the lower levels.

More information on this building could not be obtained as this area was undergoing cleanup and was restricted by US Marshals.

Five story building and casino barge

Figure 1: Five story building and casino barge that impacted the building

Photo: G. Mosqueda (for MCEER)


Figure 2: Partial collapse of 5 story concrete building

Photo: G. Mosqueda (for MCEER)


Figure 3: The fifth story level did not collapse even though corner column was lost.

Photo: G. Mosqueda (for MCEER)

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