GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - South Mississippi residents are watching the weather and making the necessary preparations. The tropical system will more than likely bring heavy rainfall to much of the area.
And that is why people who live in low lying or flood prone areas spent some time bagging sand on Friday. It is a routine storm preparation for many folks. They need the sand bags to block high water from getting into their homes or businesses.
And while most folks WLOX News talked with are not too worried about Karen, they're not taking any chances. Sand bags can help block rising water from ruining someone's home or business. We found one team loading bags bound for Cypress Lane Apartments, which is located on Brickyard Bayou.
Jim Alford needed a few for his house.
"I don't flood. It's just with the really heavy rain, the wind pushes it through the front door," he said, "So it's just to be safe."
Everyone at the sand pile is in storm prep mode.
"Trying to get ready for it," said one man from New Orleans, who said he wasn't much worried about the storm.
Linda Pucheu was picking up sand for her elderly mother.
"And the water comes in on her porch and goes into the back of her house. She's 83 so she definitely can't be out here doing this," said the daughter.
She has also been making her own preparations. Pucheu lives on the Biloxi River.
"I started picking up two days ago and some of my neighbors hadn't even started at all. I'll leave if it gets bad, I've got a kayak," she said, with a smile.
While residents filled sand bags from one pile, Harrison County inmates were at work on another.
Their sand bags will be used to protect the work center from high water woes.
"Surround the building in case of any flooding where the inmates are housed. And we will have some on stand by for any emergencies the sheriff may want us to get out and put sand bags out," said Capt. Alvin King with the sheriff's department.
Heather Sanders arrived alone, but made a friend at the sand pile to share the chore of filling the bags.
Hers needed replacing.
"I just need a few for my back door, my front door. My ones from last year, the bags have disintegrated. So I need to make sure I get two or three for the front, two or three for the back," she said.
She said a little sand bag preparation can prevent high water headaches.
"I just don't want to do all that mopping when it's over," she said.