Jackson County declares a local emergency

JACKSON COUNTY, MS (WLOX) - WLOX.com has learned the Jackson County Board of Supervisors declared local emergency today in advance of Tropical Depression Thirteen. We're told the declaration allows the County to take several precautionary steps.

For instance, free sandbags can be distributed at locations around the county.  Those locations are:  East Road Dept. on Hwy. 63 in Escatawpa; West Road Dept. on N. Washington Ave. (Hwy. 609) in St. Martin; Central Road Dept. on 8500 Jim Ramsey Rd. in Vancleave; Fontainebleau Fire Dept. on Hwy. 57 (south); St. Andrews Fire Dept. on Elm St.; and Forts Lake Fire Dept. on Forts Lake Rd.

The Harbor Master is limiting access to the Small Craft Harbor in Ocean Springs. The Harbor is closed to all "transient vessels" until the threat of tropical weather subsides. All current boat owners with valid "Slip Lease Agreements" can continue to dock their boats and "come-and-go" in the Harbor.

Because Jackson County is under a Tropical Storm Warning, National Weather Service forecasters are predicting drenching rains as this very slow moving system moves ashore. Jackson County Emergency Management Director Donald Langham is asking residents living in low-lying and flood prone areas to take precautions now.

"We could see 10 to 15 inches of rain locally. And forecasts are calling for tides to run 3 to 4 foot above normal. This adds up to local flooding in flood prone areas. All residents need to stay alert and seek out local news reports," Langham said.

Copyright 2011 WLOX. All rights reserved.