Mississippi Gulf Coast Casinos Claim They Require Hurricane Repairs Costing Millions

Posted on: November 27, 2020, 12:57h. 

Last updated on: November 27, 2020, 02:38h.

Casinos along Mississippi’s Gulf Coast claim they need millions of dollars in construction work to repair damage from Hurricane Zeta in October, according to a published report.

Golden Nugget Biloxi
A parking garage at the Golden Nugget in Biloxi, Mississippi, was swamped during Hurricane Zeta in October. Casinos in the area are undergoing repairs, but are open for business. (Image: WJTV 12 News)

Mississippi-based Yates Construction recently filed for $48 million in building permits to repair damage to four of the eight resorts in Biloxi, according to the Biloxi Sun Herald.

The city issued permits for $20 million for repairs to the Beau Rivage Resort and Casino, and another $20 million for the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino. The city also issued permits for $5 million in repairs for the IP Casino Resort and Spa and $3 million for Harrah’s Gulf Coast Hotel and Casino, the newspaper reported.

Repairs are required to parking garages that were flooded in the storm surge. Electrical and plumbing systems received damage at the resorts, as did the exterior of some buildings.

Most of the casinos in the area were closed during the hurricane, but have reopened. Some were closed for several days until power was restored.

Of the 26 commercial casinos in Mississippi, 12 are along the Gulf Coast. Of these 12, eight are in Biloxi.

Hurricane Zeta barreled ashore in the early morning hours of Oct. 28 near Cocodrie, Louisiana, south of New Orleans. The Category 2 storm, with winds topping 100 mph, ripped through the Crescent City before roaring eastward into Mississippi and beyond. At least six people in the region were killed in the storm.

Some casinos in the New Orleans area were closed temporarily as fast-moving Hurricane Zeta approached from the Gulf of Mexico. The New Orleans-area casinos did not receive major damage, officials told Casino.org.     

Deadly Storms

Zeta was one of five named storms to blast Louisiana during the Atlantic hurricane season this year.

Two major hurricanes, Laura and Delta, shredded the storm-weary Lake Charles area, blowing ashore just six weeks apart. Hurricane Delta made landfall on Oct. 9 only about 12 miles east of the site where Laura slammed into the Louisiana Gulf Coast in August.

The two hurricanes left a path of death and destruction in southwestern Louisiana and damaged the four hotel-casinos in the area.

Record Numbers

The Atlantic hurricane season has produced 30 named storms so far this year. Of that number, 12 hit the United States.

“The 2020 Atlantic hurricane season is one for the record books,” the Weather Channel noted on its website.

The winds in three of these storms – Iota, Delta and Eta – “intensified by 100 mph in 36 hours or less,” according to the Weather Channel. This had only happened eight previous times in 169 years, according to Sam Lillo, a scientist and researcher with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Though the official end of the hurricane season is Nov. 30, Weather Channel meteorologist Domenica Davis said that doesn’t mean there won’t be more major storms this year.

“The end may not be the end,” she said. “The tropics will definitely bear watching as we go into December.”