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BYLINE: BY PAUL T. ROSYNSKY
It took only hours for Hurricane Katrina to wipe out most of the Port of Gulfport, Miss., in August 2005. Recovery has proceeded much more slowly. The process is at two years and counting, and has been complicated by tight finances and local controversy.
Katrina destroyed more than 700,000 square feet of covered port warehousing, including 200,000 square feet of chilled and frozen warehouse space. A 25-foot storm surge wrecked piers, tossed a floating casino onto U.S. Highway 90 and scattered containers and their contents for more than a half-mile inland.
Port Director Don Allee and his staff plunged quickly into rebuilding, and have spent more than $50 million on new infrastructure, including a 160,000-square-foot warehouse that will open this month, bringing total covered warehouse space to 380,000 square feet.
The port has retained its three largest carriers, …