Moss Point: Voluntary evacuations expected, mandatory possible

MOSS POINT, MS (WLOX) - Moss Point officials said it doesn't take a lot of rain to create major flooding problems in their city.

With Tropical Storm Karen promising to bring rain, they want residents to take precautions now so they don't become trapped by rising water. Moss Point city hall closed at 3 pm on Friday so city employees could prepare their homes. Mayor Billy Broomfield is urging all residents to do the same.

Morningview Drive is dry now, but Moss Point officials said during Hurricane Isaac the city's first responders and the National Guard were on the street rescuing people trapped in the homes by high water. The city doesn't want a repeat during Karen.

"Currently we are not under any evacuation orders however we do anticipate doing a voluntary evacuation at some time point tomorrow as conditions start to deteriorate," said Chief Keith Davis, Moss Point Police Department. "I would like to say that once those evacuation orders are given that our citizens take heed of those evacuation orders and move to higher ground. As we've seen in the past, water rises fast in those low lying areas. We're concerned about those individuals that choose to stay."

During a news conference Moss Point officials warned help might not come quickly for those who choose to stay.

Fire Chief Clarence Parks said, "During the high expected winds such as 45 miles per hour or more we will not being able to rescue because our lives are in danger as well."

Moss Point's mayor said the city is awaiting the 7 a.m. storm update to decided if evacuation orders will be issued.

"We have some areas in the city that it doesn't take a whole lot of water to cause serious problems in this city," said Mayor Broomfield. "So we're asking those people to get sandbags, take precaution and protect yourself and your property as best as you can."

If people are asked to leave, he said people need not worry about their homes and valuables being targeted by prowlers.

Mayor Broomfield said, "Manpower is not going to be an issue for us. General Collins who is over the Mississippi National Guard has assured us that whatever we need as far as manpower he is willing to supply that."

"We have put all of our personnel on standby for the police department," said Chief Davis. "We are prepared to protect people's homes. I urge the citizens of Moss Point not to worry about your homes. We are well prepared to take care of your homes for you."

Moss Point officials ask that residents check local media and the city's website for information.

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