Emergency Official: "We're going to feel something"

By Krystal Allan – bio | email

GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - "However we look at this storm, it's still going to have an impact on the Mississippi Gulf Coast," said Harrison County Emergency Management Director Rupert Lacey. 

Lacey said at this time, much of the concern is focused on flooding.  The trouble spots include low-lying areas, or those near inland waterways and tributaries.

"We've had higher tides all weekend.  That's our concern," Lacey said.  "As the Hurricane Center is telling us five to eight foot storm surge, that's going to be the equivalent of what we had during Ike last year in some of the affected areas."

Lacey said Harrison County residents who live in cottages or in low-lying areas need to be ready for a combination of high tides and heavy rain.  Areas like Biloxi's Point Cadet or Pass Christian's Henderson Point are especially at risk.

"What we're encouraging residents in low-lying areas to do is to make sure they take the necessary precautions now," Lacey said.

Lacey said conference calls will begin with state officials Monday at 6 a.m.  A couple of hours later, around 8:15, meetings with city department heads will start.  Calls have already been placed to transportation services like CTA and school superintendents.

"That way we can ensure everybody has looked at the plans and taken care of the necessary requirements to get ready for a flooding event or gale force winds," Lacey said.

Though it remains to be seen what Ida's impact will be, the bottom line is quite simple according to Lacey.

"We're still going to feel something."

That's why he said everyone needs to have a plan in place as Ida moves in the Gulf.

Anyone looking for more information from Harrison County's Emergency Management Center should call them at 228-865- 4089, or click here to access their web site.

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