|Motto(s): "America's Small Beach Town"|
Location of Waveland, Mississippi
|o Total||8.6 sq mi (22.4 km2)|
|o Land||8.5 sq mi (22.0 km2)|
|o Water||0.2 sq mi (0.4 km2)|
|Elevation||16 ft (5 m)|
|o Estimate (2016)||6,428|
|o Density||758/sq mi (292.7/km2)|
|Time zone||Central (CST) (UTC-6)|
|o Summer (DST)||CDT (UTC-5)|
|GNIS feature ID||0679394|
Waveland is a city located in Hancock County, Mississippi, United States, on the Gulf of Mexico. It is part of the Gulfport-Biloxi, Mississippi Metropolitan Statistical Area. The city of Waveland was incorporated in 1972. As of the 2010 census, the city had a population of 6,435. Waveland was nearly destroyed by Hurricane Camille on August 17, 1969, and by Hurricane Katrina on August 29, 2005.
The current mayor of Waveland is Mike Smith.
The Silver Slipper Casino opened on November 9, 2006.
On August 17, 1969, Hurricane Camille made landfall at the tip of Louisiana before continuing on shore at Waveland. The storm heavily damaged the areas south of the Louisville and Nashville Railroad. Recovery efforts went on for nearly a decade. The town later erected a plaque commemorating the efforts of the volunteers who committed time and resources towards rebuilding.
The city of Waveland was "ground zero" of Hurricane Katrina's landfall on August 29, 2005. The city received massive damage and is still in the process of recovering and rebuilding. South of the CSXT mainline, the area was almost completely destroyed. The rest of the city took heavy flooding. In a news report, state officials said Waveland took a harder hit from the wind and water than any other town along the Gulf Coast, and that the town was obliterated. 36 years earlier, in 1969, Waveland had been severely damaged by Hurricane Camille.
Official reports stated that approximately 50 people died when Waveland was hit directly by the eyewall of Katrina and the 26-foot (7.9 m) storm surge. Hurricane Katrina came ashore during the high tide of 8:01AM, +2.2 feet more.
Hurricane Katrina damaged over 40 Mississippi libraries, gutting the Waveland Public Library, as a total loss, requiring a complete rebuild.
A group of social activists seeking to better the lives of local residents, called the "Rainbow Family", arrived in Waveland soon after Hurricane Katrina. From early September to early December 2005, they ran the "New Waveland Cafe & Clinic" in the parking lot of Fred's Dept Store on Highway 90. The café provided free hot meals three times a day. The clinic was staffed by volunteer doctors and nurses from throughout the United States who saw over 5,000 patients during the duration, free of charge and dispensing free medications. Donations of medications and supplies came from a multitude of sources, with International Aid arranging the most donations. This was the first experience of the counter-culture Rainbow Family in running a disaster relief center. The Bastrop Christian Outreach Center also volunteered with the Rainbow Family.
Waveland Elementary School, which has served public school students in Grades K-3 (Grades 4-5 attend Second Street Elementary in nearby Bay St. Louis), was heavily damaged by Katrina. The students attending the school were educated in portable classrooms for the beginning of the 2006-2007 school year, pending a permanent solution.
The recovery of Waveland was due in part to the faith-based disaster recovery effort in and around the Waveland area. Shoreline Park Baptist Church in Waveland and Pastor Ed Murphy were vital to this effort, housing and feeding hundreds of missionaries from around the country for many years following Hurricane Katrina in what were referred to as "Pods for God". Shoreline Park Baptist Church directed the repair and, in some instances, the rebuilding of homes in the area for many years after the devastation. Murphy retired from Shoreline Park Baptist Church in 2014 and died in Rock Hill South Carolina on April 27, 2015.
Waveland is in southeastern Hancock County along the shore of Mississippi Sound, an embayment of the Gulf of Mexico. It is bordered to the north and northeast by the city of Bay St. Louis. U.S. Route 90 passes through the northern side of the city, leading east across the Bay of Saint Louis 18 miles (29 km) to Gulfport and west 55 miles (89 km) to New Orleans.
As of the census of 2000, there were 6,674 people, 2,731 households, and 1,783 families residing in the city. The population density was 980.2 people per square mile (378.4/km²). There were 3,442 housing units at an average density of 505.5 per square mile (195.1/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 85.38% White, 11.21% African American, 0.49% Native American, 1.50% Asian, 0.03% Pacific Islander, 0.49% from other races, and 0.90% from two or more races. 2.02% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
There were 2,731 households out of which 31.4% have children under the age of 18 living with them, 46.6% were married couples living together, 14.8% had a female householder with no husband present, and 34.7% were non-families. 29.1% of all households were made up of individuals and 11.7% had someone living alone who is 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.43 and the average family size was 3.01.
In the city, the population was spread out with 26.0% under the age of 18, 7.5% from 18 to 24, 28.3% from 25 to 44, 23.9% from 45 to 64, and 14.2% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 38 years. For every 100 females, there were 89.9 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 84.3 males.
The median income for a household in the city was $33,304, and the median income for a family was $38,438. Males had a median income of $29,762 versus $21,694 for females. The per capita income for the city was $16,413. 13.7% of the population and 11.6% of families were below the poverty line. Out of the total population, 15.6% of those under the age of 18 and 11.7% of those 65 and older were living below the poverty line.
Waveland is served by the Bay St. Louis-Waveland School District.