Mississippi coastal casinos reopen after Hurricane Nate
Over the past few months, the United States has been among the locations that have been battered by hurricanes. First, Hurricane Harvey devastated the state of Texas, while Hurricane Irma, a Category 5 hurricane, hit the Caribbean and Florida, as well as some nearby states. Just this past weekend, the coasts of Mississippi, Louisiana and Alabama prepared for Tropical Storm Nate. The tropical storm was upgraded to a Category 2 Hurricane as it approached the coast, which caused casinos located in Mississippi to close.
Nate was the first hurricane to make landfall in the state of Mississippi since 2005 when Katrina hit.
By Saturday at 5pm, the coast casinos were closed in order to batten down the hatches and ride out the storm. As Nate came through the southern portion of Mississippi, it was classified as a Category 1 storm. According to the Sun Herald, some casinos in the area saw storm surge that came into the pool areas and parking garages of the facilities. Despite this, the casinos were ready to reopen by yesterday at 11:30 am.
The Mississippi Gaming Commission Executive Director, Allen Godfrey, announced the casinos could reopen, with the venues being shut down for less than a 20-hour time frame. Only minor damaged has been reported.
Water did enter the Golden Nugget elevator lobby but did not make it to the casino floor, according to Vice President of Marketing and Resort Operations for the venue, Scott King. Around four feet of water was able to enter the area. The casino floor was not affected as it starts at 27 feet. King stated that 300 people were in the hotel during the storm and some had never seen a hurricane before.
Another venue, the Scarlet Pearl Casino Resort of D’Iberville, suffered no damage or flooding, even avoided the loss of power during the hurricane. CEO of the property, LuAnn Pappas, stated that the hotel and restaurant, plus lounge area, remained open for guests and staff members.
Most venues in the area were reopened by lunchtime or thereafter due to cleanup needs.