The downtown area of Gulfport, MS is located north of the railroad tracks that span the Mississippi coast, about 0.5 miles from the shoreline. The first story levels of buildings in the entire area were severely damaged by the storm surge. In addition, water damage was also a factor in the upper stories of many buildings as a result of fractured windows. Figure 1 is a picture of the Hancock Bank building in Gulfport, the tallest building in the downtown region. About 30 percent of the windows were shattered on the south face of the building. The windows that appear tinted black lost the exterior pane only. Figure 2 shows the restoration efforts under way to dry the building interior. Many other buildings such as the Gulf & Ship Island RR Office in Figure 3 occupied by Mississippi Power suffered similar damage. Glass storefronts were also damaged in the area as noted in Figure 4. Marking on the interior of this store indicate a storm surge level of about 1 ft.
Submitted by Gilberto Mosqueda and Keith Porter
September 12, 2005