South Mississippi Prepares For Storm

South Mississippi residents kept a close watch on Tropical Storm Bill.

The approaching storm made for a rather miserable Monday outdoors. But the threat of high winds and flood water prompted many people to take some necessary storm precautions.

Teenage workers manned the sand bag assembly line at Gulport Public works. This storm preparation team belongs to the Urban Youth Corps program.

"Basically a summer program to help us get income for the summer before we go back to school. It's teaching us how to work together," explained Travis Roberts.

Preparing hundreds of sand bags is a definite test of teamwork. The heavy lifting builds character and muscles.

"Just picking them up. It's pretty heavy. They weigh about 30 or 40 pounds," said Roberts.

Several dozen sand bags formed a high water blockade at the front door of Marine Life. Tropical storm Bill's expected arrival closed the outdoor attraction this Monday.

Lenny Chapman helped tote the sand bags and build the barrier.

"Mostly we just have to sand bag these front doors here in case the water comes up fairly deep in the driveway out here," said the Marine Life worker.

A group of tourists from North Carolina planned on visiting Marine Life, but settled instead for a romp in the stirred up surf. Although a swim in stormy seas is not recommended, it's tough to tell vacationing kids.

"But the goal is to have fun. And as you can see, they're having fun," said David Nelson, as he watched the young swimmers from the sandy shore.

Stormy winds and high tide waters are always a concern for boat owners. Late morning found most boaters already battened down.

Boat owners at the Gulfport Harbor took the necessary precautions by adding lines and double checking their moorings. The harbormaster says such preparations are a good rehearsal for the storm season still to come.

"Just a nice preparation. A nice reminder for us for what we've got down the road," said D.J.Ziegler.

The stormy weather also caused problems on the roads. AMR responded to more than a dozen traffic accidents Monday. Most all were weather related.