HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - One mother that lives near the Timberton Softball Complex in Hattiesburg said she misses going to the park that sits across the road. Before January 2017, families and children could walk by foot less than 100 feet away to enjoy quality time with family.
“Now that its down, you know, it’s kind of hard because they don’t have anywhere to go,” Schemeaka Nixon said.
With summer around the corner, Schemeaka said it would be easier to have her kids play in the area, but instead she travels to take them to a play area.
“When you have a place that’s right across the street from you and right down the street from you its harder,” said Schemeaka.
Councilmen Nicholas Brown for Ward 5 in Hattiesburg said he hopes that people can wait a little bit longer for answers.
“Just asking the community to be patient with us. I know they’ve already been patient two years is really too long,” said Brown.
After nearly 24 months, Brown has reached out to FEMA, but no date has been set for the park to be renovated, just an estimate on damages.
“FEMA came down and did their estimate on it and they estimated around $550,000," said Brown.
Most of the costs associated with the damage at Timberton were items such as ballfield lights, fencing, score boards and walking trail lights. According to the City Council, at the time of the 2017 tornado, these types of items were covered by the city’s insurance policy through a citywide policy for outdoor amenities in the amount of only $100,000.
City Council said that the administration has increased that policy to $1 million in an effort to preclude this type of situation from arising in the future.
Currently, the project is in the FEMA review process and still has to go through the award phase. According to MEMA, determination on this project should be known by early this spring, according to the Hattiesburg City Council.