Singing River Yacht Club has bounced back from Hurricane Katrina with a refurbished clubhouse and a full schedule of summer-camp activities.|
"It is the first yacht club on the Coast that has its clubhouse back and is providing services," said Commodore Stephen Burrow. "It has been a challenge but our board has been up to it."
The club had flood and wind insurance and has spent $350,000 on its clubhouse, which is on 14-foot pilings.
"We had a foot and a half of water, which destroyed all of our equipment and furnishings," said Burrow. "We had to replace everything."
The swimming pool was saved but it and the tennis courts were damaged.
"We have six state-of-the-art asphalt tennis courts and the water in the swimming pool looks the best I have seen it in 35 years," said Burrow.
New kitchen facilities are in place, and clubhouse flooring is scheduled for next month. "We've had a wedding reception and office parties," he said. "We're serving food three nights a week."
Club leaders are working with Jackson County officials, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the Coast Guard to get dredging started on Bayou Chicot and the channel to the Sound. Until then, docks and sailing facilities are on the back burner.
Club membership is on the rise again after falling from 330 to 305 after Katrina, Burrow said.
"We're back with summer-camp activities, swimming and tennis lessons, and getting there with sailing," said Burrow.
The club is geared up for its traditional July 4 club party.
"It's still the best place in town to watch the city's annual fireworks display," Burrow added.
Dr. Jack Hoover, who was the first commodore in 1970, says the yacht club is coming back bigger and better.
"After Hurricane Georges, we rebuilt with a steel superstructure on 60-foot pilings," said Hoover. "We have a real fine clubhouse."
- GARY HOLLAND