JACKSON COUNTY, MS (WLOX) - Jackson County has started its free transportation service for residents who need help evacuating to a shelter. County school buses and/or vans are currently picking up registered residents at their homes. Each van/bus is taking residents to a Red Cross shelter inside Jackson County.
Please, pack only the essentials; there is a two bag limit per rider. The County will stop taking registrations at 5 p.m. today (Aug. 31). Until then residents can still call 228-769-5870.
A Mandatory Evacuation is still in effect for all Jackson County residents living in low-lying areas, mobile homes, MEMA Cottages, Katrina Cottages and FEMA travel trailers in advance of forecasted tropical storm force winds from Hurricane Gustav. Residents should be departing now and sharing that information with family, employers, and neighbors.
Drivers should be aware the State of Louisiana has begun "contra-flow." Traffic along Interstate 10 and north routes has been heavy but flowing steadily all day. All motorists should use caution on the roadways.
The County and the American Red Cross will open three shelters at 5 p.m. today. The Special Medical Needs Shelter opened at 3 p.m. Residents going to a shelter should bring medication, sleeping gear, and a change of clothes.
The shelters are below:
- East Central Community Center (Special Medical Needs Only)- 4300 Hwy. 614
- East Central High School- 21700 Slider Rd. off Hwy. 614
- St. Martin East Elementary- 7508 Rose Farm Rd.
- Vancleave High School- 12412 Hwy. 57
The County will open an "Animal Evacuation Shelter" for small to medium size domesticated pets (cats, dogs, gerbils.) at 5 p.m. today. No exotic animals (snakes, monkeys, etc.) can be accepted. This shelter is only for residents staying at a local Red Cross Shelter. Pets must be inside of a safe travel kennel and have proof of shots. The Animal Shelter's staff will pick-up all pets from the Red Cross Shelter. Owners can't stay with their pets.
The County remains under a Proclamation of Local Emergency. The Board of Supervisors has closed the Ocean Springs Harbor to all "transient vessels and boats" until the threat of Gustav subsides. All current boat owners with valid "Slip Lease Agreements" can continue to dock their boats at the Harbor.
The County is still offering free sand bags (self serve) at the following 10 locations:
- Forts Lake Fire Dept. on Forts Lake Rd.
- Three Rivers Fire Dept. on Hwy. 63
- East Road Dept. on Hwy. 63 in Escatawpa
- East Central Community Center on Hwy. 614 Central
- St. Andrews Fire Dept. on Elm St.
- Fontainebleau Fire Dept. on Hwy. 57 (south)
- Central Road Dept. on Hwy. 57 in Vancleave
- West JC Fire Dept. on Big Ridge Rd.
- Latimer Community Center on Daisy Vestry Rd.
- West Road Dept. on N. Washington Ave. in St. Martin.