Bay Saint Louis is a city located in Hancock County, Mississippi. It is part of the Gulfport Biloxi, Mississippi Metropolitan Statistical Area. As of the 2000 census, the city had a total population of 8,209. It is the county seat of Hancock County. Like several other upper Gulf Coast cities, Bay Saint Louis was devastated by Hurricane Katrina in August 2005 (see details below).
Bay St. Louis is located at 30 18'53" North, 89 20'39" West (30.314696, 89.344096). It is situated on the Bay of Saint Louis, which empties into the Mississippi Sound.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of , of which, of it is land and of it is water. The total area is 63.70% water.
Bay St. Louis, Mississippi (left center) is west of Pass Christian, along the Gulf of Mexico.
As of the census of 2000, there were 8,209 people, 3,271 households, and 2,064 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,342.1 people per square mile (517.9/km ). There were 3,817 housing units at an average density of 624.1 per square mile (240.8/km ). The racial makeup of the city was 80.23% White, 16.59% African American, 0.40% Native American, 1.11% Asian, 0.05% Pacific Islander, 0.19% from other races, and 1.43% from two or more races. 1.68% of the population was Hispanic or Latino of any race.
There were 3,271 households out of which 29.6% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 44.0% were married couples living together, 14.7% had a female householder with no husband present, and 36.9% were non-families. 31.5% of all households were made up of individuals and 12.6% have someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.41 and the average family size is 3.05.
In the city the population was 24.5% under the age of 18, 7.6% from 18 to 24, 26.8% from 25 to 44, 24.5% from 45 to 64, and 16.6% who are 65 years of age or older. The median age is 39 years. For every 100 females there were 92.0 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 88.0 males. The median income for a household in the city was $34,106, and the median income for a family was $41,957. Males had a median income of $32,261 versus $21,308 for females. The per capita income for the city was $18,483. 13.2% of the population and 10.0% of families were below the poverty line. Out of the total population, 17.2% of those under the age of 18 and 11.5% of those 65 and older were living below the poverty line.
The City of Bay St. Louis is served by the Bay St. Louis-Waveland School District It is the home of St. Stanislaus College prep, a residency and day school for boys grades 7 12, and Our Lady academy, a day school for girls grades 7 12. These two share some classrooms as well as a Catholic curriculum.
On August 17, 1969, Hurricane Camille made landfall at the tip of Louisiana before continuing to Bay St. Louis.
The Bay bridge on US Highway 90, damaged by Hurricane Katrina
On August 29, 2005 at 10:00 a.m. CDT, Hurricane Katrina made its final landfall near Bay St. Louis, at the mouth of the Pearl River, with a storm surge. Hurricane Katrina came ashore during the high tide of 9:15AM, +2.3 feet more, causing a storm tide over deep. USGS Topographical maps show a common elevation contour line running throughout a ridge along old HWY 90 (Old Spanish Trail) in the western edge of the city. It was primarily this area which did not see the surge inundation of Hurricane Katrina.
The town was notable for being the highest point on the entire Gulf of Mexico coastline (approx. 12 feet), its pristine beaches, and esteemed restaurants such as Trapani's.
The final death toll from Hurricane Katrina is not yet known.
Hurricane Katrina damaged over 40 Mississippi libraries, with severe roof and water damage to the Bay St. Louis Public Library. The library reopened to the public on October 12, 2005, and is awaiting repairs. The Bay St. Louis Bridge on US Highway 90, was also damaged, with many bridge sections downdropped at the west edges. The destroyed bridge was replaced by a new St. Louis Bay Bridge, which was awarded America's Transportation Award. http://www.americastransportationaward.org/Default.aspx?ContentID=45 The new bridge features a pedestrian bridge with an art walk featuring the works of local artists. http://www.hancockchamber.org/Events/Bridgefest2009/bridgefestartists.asp
Currently, the underground utility infrastructure in Bay St. Louis is receiving a federally funded total overhaul and replacement.
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