Officials warn stay off of Highway 90

SOUTH MISSISSIPPI (WLOX) - Tropical Storm Lee's strong winds have pushed lots of sand onto the roadway, and in some spots the drains are clogged with sand and can't keep up with the rain.

Harrison County EMA Director Rupert Lacy said, "We are encouraging drivers if you don't have to use Highway 90, stay off of it."

"Highway 90 does have a lot of sand that has built up. Especially in the east bound lane, it is very treacherous for drivers to be driving on it," Lacy said.

In addition to it being dangerous, MDOT Maintenance Supervisor Henderson Rettig says opting for the highway means it will take longer for crews to cleanup the mess.

"It inhibits them to be able to clear the road like they need to," Rettig said.

"The crews are out now. We are in the process of trying to get some of the sand out of the road. The weather conditions are prohibiting a lot of the pick up, but we are getting out what we can to try and make it safe to travel on."

And although the warnings are being given, drivers are still steering down Highway 90, even in Pass Christian where the sand is the worst.

Pass Christian Mayor Chipper McDermott said he's seen a lot of traffic.

"I saw two of them going to New Orleans to see Tulane play a while ago and everybody else is either out doing business or taking a look at what's going," McDermott said.

As Tropical Storm Lee continues to drench South Mississippi, the roads won't be getting better anytime soon.

Rettig said, "I'm sure it's going to take several days. I look to the middle of the week before we get it cleaned up."

And if you do find a need to be out, Lacy has some advice.

"You don't want to break into the water, slow down as you approach it and slow down to almost to a snail's pace when you are in that high impact sand areas," Lacy said.

Copyright 2011 WLOX. All rights reserved.