Tires dumped under Long Bridge over Boley Creek

Published 1:49 pm Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Someone dumped tires under Long Bridge over Hobolochitto Creek and has ignited a firestorm of anger.

Long Bridge on Beech Street is one of the launching sites for the group that has been, and continues, to work on cleaning up Boley Creek to make it navigable for boaters and to return it to a scenic sight for fishermen and other boaters trying to enjoy the creek.

“This is entirely defeating what we are trying to do,” said Derek Turnage, county coroner and one of the leaders of the group working on the cleanup, in a telephone conversation with Sheriff David Allison.

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Turnage discovered the pile of 17 or 18 tires when he drove down to the launch site at Long Bridge to view a sign donated by Coca-Cola that had been place there by Keith Kingrey of Mississippi Power. The sign announces the major effort on the creek planned for Saturday, Oct. 16.

Turnage and Picayune Mayor Ed Pinero said the group is working with Crime Stoppers to offer a reward leading to the identification and arrest of whomever dumped the tires at the launch.

Water collected in the tires indicated they had been dumped before the rain, which fell on Sunday. The tires also apparently had been cut from he rims of tires so the rims could be sold for scrap, Turnage said.

Officers are going to check with scrap yards to see if any rims have been sold recently for scrap, Pinero said. He said that because of where they tires were dumped, both the city and the county are investigating and likely to bring charges. The mayor said he also is checking with state and federal officials to see if any charges may be brought at that level, especially since tires, when disposed of improperly, are considered a hazardous substance.

“We’re going to pursue this illegal dumping, and there will be consequences for whoever did this,” Pinero said.

He said Picayune police officers had investigated the site before two city workers with a trash truck and a knuckle boom cleaned up the site.

Turnage said that the efforts his group has made since beginning to cut through some of the blockages along the five-mile stretch between Long Bridge and Burnt Bridge already are making a difference.

A fisherman had launched into the creek when he was there earlier, Turnage said, and a group that included Picayune Fire Chief Keith Brown and County Emergency Director Danny Manley had navigated parts of the creek since the initial cleanup and reported clearer water and prettier view.

Turnage said the group hopes to have that entire stretch navigable by the time of the major cleanup effort on Oct. 16.