As hurricane season begins, local leaders look to minimize flood - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

As hurricane season begins, local leaders look to minimize flooding

Harrison County road crews know the importance of being ready for a hurricane. (Photo source: WLOX) Harrison County road crews know the importance of being ready for a hurricane. (Photo source: WLOX)
HARRISON COUNTY, MS (WLOX) -

June 1 is the official start of hurricane season. Once again, Coast emergency management officials are talking a lot about the importance of everyone being prepared.

When many of us think about preparing for a hurricane, we think of stocking up on batteries and bottled water. However, for business owners and local governments, getting hurricane ready can be a little different.

It was clear skies on the first day of hurricane season, but Harrison County road crews know if a hurricane hits the Coast, it will bring with it a lot of rain. Officials said they're doing a lot of work now to try to head off as much flooding as possible along the county's 790 miles of roadways.

"Your culverts. Your ditches," said Harrison County Road Department Director Russell Weatherly. "Any potentially weakened trees or limbs. Keep those things trimmed and cut out of the way. Try to minimize the damage as much as we possibly can. Minimize any road flooding and water backing up on peoples' property."

To get ready for hurricane season, officials said they make sure all equipment is in good working order. They are also putting employees on standby.

"Most of the guys we have and have been through this drill several times," said Weatherly. "So, they know come this time of the year, just be ready. Just be on call and ready to move at a moment's notice. One phone call is all it takes to get them moving and mobilized."

Hurricanes often lead to mandatory harbor evacuations. Over at Ken's Hardware and Marine Supply in Gulfport, getting hurricane ready means having a big enough stock of supplies for people who need to protect their boats. Employees said fenders and anchors fly off the store shelves, but they're not the biggest seller.

"The things we sell the most of in this store for a hurricane is rope. You can't have enough rope for a boat when a hurricane is coming,” said employee Ed Currie. “You have to reach out and tie to trees. Put the anchor at where you have enough room for the boat to come up. If you have rope, you can, a lot of times, save your boat, but if you don't have enough rope or the rope's not too strong, you're probably going to lose it."

WLOX will air a preparation special on WLOX CBS this Friday, June 5, at 6:30 p.m. and again on WLOX ABC on Saturday, June 6, at 5 p.m.

Copyright 2015 WLOX. All rights reserved. 
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