River dwellers urged to sign up for flooding alerts

By Danielle Thomas - bio | email

BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - Harrison County Emergency Management Director Rupert Lacy says September and October are the most flood prone time of year for South Mississippi. That's why Lacy is encouraging people living along major rivers to prepare for sudden and unexpected rising water by signing up for an automated call alert system.

"We enjoy watching the river and watching the travel and the people having a good time on the river," Burney Payne said.

Payne says he enjoys living along the Tchoutacabouffa River; however, Payne says the trade off is that he and his neighbors must constantly stay alert for possible flooding.

"Our neighborhood is lucky," Payne said. "We have kind of our own call roster. We call and warn each other, especially if it's going to happen in the middle of the night."

Rupert Lacy says weather conditions can change quickly overnight, so residents along the Tchoutacabouffa, Wolf or Biloxi rivers should sign up for the county's automated call alert system.

"If a flood watch comes out, as soon as we get it, we put the message out," said Lacy. "Homeowners will get notification on a home or cell phone number. We are trying to give them as much heads up notice as the Weather Service gives us. The last thing in the world we want is for people to be sleeping and wake up, and they're stranded. "

Payne says he plans to register his phone number for the alerts, so he won't get caught off guard by rising water.

"A culmination of a lot of rain and high tide, the water comes out of the banks and can get under our homes," Payne said.

To register your home or cell phone number you can call Harrison County Civil Defense Monday through Friday from 8 am and 5 pm or email Rupert Lacy at civildefenseinfo@co.harrison.ms.us.

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