By The Associated Press
PASCAGOULA – Emergency officials along Mississippi’s Gulf Coast expected to get plans in place Friday to deal with the effects from a slow-moving tropical depression.
Jackson County spokesman Ken Flanagan said conference calls scheduled Friday with Mississippi Emergency Management Agency, along with the forecast and weather conditions over the next 24 hours, will dictate whether there is a need to open the Emergency Operations Center over the weekend.
Flanagan said weather forecasts show “a slow-moving tropical wave that is going to start affecting us probably Friday through Monday, maybe later depending on some of the models.”
The county was preparing for 6 inches to 10 inches of rain through Monday, Flanagan said.
The National Weather Service issued a flash flood watch in effect through Sunday evening in anticipation of frequent heavy rains from tropical showers and thunderstorms.
A tropical storm warning was in effect for coastal Mississippi. That warning extends from Pascagoula to Sabine Pass, Texas.
“We’re looking at a storm surge of about 2 to 3 feet possibly on top of the rain falling if it does come in 6 to 10 inches, we’re looking possibly at having some flooding in Jackson County,” Flanagan said.
All Jackson County offices will remain open for normal operations for the remainder of the week. County employees were being asked to stay aware of potential tropical weather.
Harrison County Emergency Management Agency director Rupert Lacy said coastal waters and bays would be choppy.
Brian Adam, director of emergency management in Hancock County, said his staff will decide Friday whether to put out sandbags.
Harrison County was to have sand available at several work centers for residents equipped with heavy-duty garbage bags.
“Low-lying areas, be prepared,” Adam said. “Everybody that’s been there long enough knows what areas flood in certain situations.”
In D’Iberville, Lowes assistant manager Chris Smith said the store is “trying to keep items in stock that people can use for situations like that. We have generators, flashlights, batteries, water, etc…”
Some were already prepared for the worst.
“I have my own generator, and we have our own power supply,” Madison Goss said Thursday while shopping. “Usually we just ride them out, if we can, if they are not that bad because we live out in the country.”
Cleo Pearson learned something six years ago he will never forget.
“I keep abreast even before something happens,” Pearson said. “Especially around July and that’s when I start thinking about what happened six years ago with (Hurricane) Katrina. And it taught me a lesson because it was my first time witnessing something like that.”