Bryant declares state of emergency ahead of storms, National Guard deployed to Gulf Coast

Bryant declares state of emergency ahead of storms, National Guard deployed to Gulf Coast

SOUTH MISSISSIPPI (WLOX) - Gov. Phil Bryant has declared a state of emergency ahead of storms expected to bring heavy rains and flooding conditions to parts of Mississippi. Bryant has also ordered the National Guard to deploy up to 80 soldiers to the Gulf Coast.

Bryant urges the coast could see rainfall totals similar to what Hurricane Isaac brought in 2012. National Guard troops will be stationed in Hancock, Pearl River, Harrison and Jackson Counties.

"I have declared a state of emergency to assist local officials with any available state resources," said Bryant. "It is important for Mississippians to remember the phrase 'Turn Around, Don't Drown.'"

Parts of Mississippi are already feeling the effects of the heavy rainfall, but the heaviest rainfall is not expected to reach South Mississippi until early Friday morning.

Once the rain starts, it's expected to continue through Friday and Saturday, dumping as much as 10 inches of rain in some parts of our viewing area. Bryant said coastal tides already three feet above normal are adding to the problem.

Roads could close as conditions deteriorate. To find the latest information on road conditions, you can visit www.mdottraffic.com, download the MDOT mobile app or call 511.

Bryant urges communities and neighborhoods that see flooding regularly to be alert of the changing weather conditions. He said residents should be prepared to evacuate should that need arise.

National Guard soldiers will be working with local law enforcement agencies to make sure residents are safe and property is secure.

If you need to report damage to your county's emergency management director, go to www.msema.org/local-ema.

Copyright 2016 WLOX. All rights reserved.