By WLOX Staff
JACKSON COUNTY, MS (WLOX) - The Jackson County Board of Supervisors declared a "Declaration of Local Emergency" Monday morning in advance of Tropical Storm Ida. This declaration allows the County to take several precautionary steps.
The County's Emergency Management Department is recommending a voluntary evacuation for all residents living in low-lying areas, flood prone areas, mobile homes, unstable structures, and travel trailers in advance of tropical storm force winds later Monday.
Travel trailers and mobile homes present serious safety hazards to occupants during high winds. Evacuation is the safest thing residents can do to protect themselves in case of a major storm.
The County and the American Red Cross are opening a temporary shelter Monday at 1 p.m. in the Gautier Convention Center on Library Lane. Residents going to a shelter should bring medication, sleeping gear, and a change of clothes. Review Red Cross guidelines.
The Board is closing the Ocean Springs Harbor to incoming "transient vessels and boats" until the threat of Ida subsides. All current boat owners with valid "Slip Lease Agreements" can continue to dock their boats at the Harbor.
The County is now offering free sand bags (self serve) at the following 14 locations:
- Forts Lake Fire Dept. on Forts Lake Rd.
- Three Rivers Fire Dept. on Hwy. 63
- East Road Dept. on Hwy. 63 in Escatawpa
- East Central Community Center on Hwy. 614
- Orange Grove Community Center on Hwy. 90
- FVD on Old Americus Road
- St. Andrews Fire Dept. on Elm St.
- Fontainebleau Fire Dept. on Hwy. 57 (south)
- Central Road Dept. on Hwy. 57 in Vancleave
- FVD on Simmons Bayou Rd. (Gulf Park Estates)
- West Jaxco Fire Dept. on Big Ridge Rd.
- Latimer Community Center on Daisy Vestry Rd.
- West Road Dept. on N. Washington Ave. in St. Martin.
- Fort Bayou Fire Dept. on Seymour Lane
All Jackson County offices are open for normal operations right now. As a precaution, the County will staff the Emergency Management Office, Ocean Springs Harbor Office and Public Information Office this evening.