Jackson County calling for voluntary evacuation for Sunday

JACKSON COUNTY, MS (WLOX) - Jackson County is asking all residents living in travel trailers, low-lying areas, or flood prone areas to evacuate in advance of tropical storm force winds by 8 a.m. Sunday morning. Travel trailers 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. Residents should be completing departure plans now and sharing that information with family, employers, and neighbors.

The County and the American Red Cross are opening an Emergency Shelter at 8 a.m. Sunday morning at the Gautier Convention Center on 2012 Library Lane. Residents going to a shelter should bring medication, sleeping gear, and a change of clothes.

Review Red Cross guidelines at www.redcross.org.

All drivers need to be aware of changing and hazardous road conditions throughout the County. Every city and community in the county has reports of standing water on road ways. There are increasing reports of trees and small debris in roadways.

Low-lying areas have had sporadic road closures throughout the day and more are expected.

County officials are also getting reports of "sight seeing" vehicles pushing water into homes which are on flooded streets.

The County remains under a Proclamation of Local Emergency. 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.

A Tropical Storm Warning and Flash Flood Warning remain in effect for Jackson County. The County has been under a Tornado Watch/Warning most of the day. National Weather Service forecasters continue to predict drenching rains as this very slow moving system moves ashore.

To date, Tropical Storm Lee has dropped more than 7 inches of rain at the County's Emergency Operation Center.

The County is still offering free sand bags (self serve) at the following six locations:

  • 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.
  • Forts Lake Fire Dept. on Forts Lake Rd.
  • Moss Point Central Fire Station on Main St.
  • Pascagoula Public Works on 14th St.
  • Gautier City Hall off Hwy. 90

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