Emergency officials in Hancock County are urging residents in low lying areas and mobile homes to take precautions now and be prepared to evacuate. As Al Showers reports, many people are taking those warnings seriously as they prepare for Hurricane Dennis.
Even if Dennis doesn't make a direct hit here, county property must be protected. Crews were busy Friday boarding up the courthouse in Bay St. Louis.
"We've got about four other buildings we've got to get done as a safety precaution. Hoping it will go somewhere else," worker Vic Johnson said.
Protecting the merchandise inside several beach front businesses was the main thing on Jim Poche's mind.
"All it takes is for one broken window or one little sustained wind to break this glass and it's over with for these people. They need to stay in business after the storms goes. It's the only way they make a livelihood," Poche' said.
Construction foreman Wayne Hoffman has two worries as Dennis approaches: an incomplete structure and building materials scattered all around.
"Take everything that's loose outside, put it inside the premises, and just fasten it down. Just make sure it's not loose and blowing around. With the construction part of it, it's tied down, secured the best it's going to get as far as codes and all that goes."
Hancock County, Bay St. Louis and Waveland leaders met Friday morning to make sure they are prepared to handle citizens needs. They hope everyone does what's necessary to prepare themselves.
"Just got off a conference call with the National Weather Service and MEMA... it's kind of hard to tell right now exactly where it's going," Hancock Co. EMA Director Brian Adam said. "We're urging everybody to prepare. We can't say the word 'prepare' enough."
County leaders are still offering sand bags to residents. You can pick them up at the West Hancock and Bayside Volunteer Fire Departments, behind the Hancock County Civic Center and at the East Recreation Center in Diamondhead.