Emergency officials use Alberto as a practice run

Emergency officials use Alberto as a practice run
Gov. Bryant and Rupert Lacy look at the storm

HARRISON COUNTY, MS (WLOX) - As Subtropical Storm Alberto courses east of us, people on the Mississippi Coast can rest easy...for now. With hurricane season beginning June 1, emergency officials across the coast are using this latest tropical disturbance as a practice run.

"We're fortunate, but this was one of those, even though we took necessary precautions, we had to be ready for whatever Mother Nature may throw at us," said Rupert Lacy, Harrison County Emergency Management Director.

Emergency crews and first responders were standing by this weekend, ready to jump into action at a moment's notice.

"Our firefighters were dusting off their wet weather equipment together, everybody has pulled together and worked to get ready for this," added Lacy.

Governor Phil Bryant was in Tokyo for an official visit this week. He cut the trip short and came straight to Gulfport for storm duty.

"I feel very good that we were able to, through this exercise, prepare for the worst, and fortunately we were lucky and blessed to get the best," said Bryant.

Uncertain of the storm's original outcome, the governor spent last week prepping the state's emergency offices and putting the National Guard on standby.

"I issued an executive order early on Saturday morning so that we might be able to support those assets as the National Guard and Department of Public Safety. So we had extra troopers on the road which was good," added the governor.

Lacy says that last year's Hurricane Nate was a unique storm to deal with because of how quickly it progressed. Alberto falls into the same category, and there is a lot to be learned from these unique storms.

"Alberto is unique in that it really wasn't that real developed tropically, it was subtropical. It was really messy and sloppy and those are the ones that put us through those long days and nights, waiting to see what it's going to do and where it's going to go," said Lacy.

This weekend could best be described as a dodged bullet rather than a "false alarm," but the governor and interim director of MEMA remain confident that Mississippi will be ready for this year's storm season.

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