Road Construction Will Slow Evacuations

No evacuations have been ordered, they're only recommended at this point, but civil defense directors are ready to make the call at a moment's notice.

If people have to leave, many will do so by traveling two of the most heavily congested north/south routes - Cowan/Lorraine Road in Gulfport and Popps Ferry Road in Biloxi. That could cause problems because construction is underway on both roads.

If an evacuation is ordered, transportation officials say it won't be easy or fast heading north. Not only will drivers have to wait in traffic, but they'll also have to dodge orange barrels and barricades. Those will stay in place during the storm on both Cowan and Popps Ferry Road.

"Right now the plan is to leave our traffic the way it is. Our traffic plan, it's worked well for the past three weeks. If there is a call for an evacuation, traffic's gonna be heavy regardless, but we think right now the way it looks traffic is moving well on Richard Lane and Cedar Lake," Biloxi Spokesman Vincent Creel says.

Creel says Biloxi's construction manager will meet with Mayor A.J. Holloway Wednesday morning to reassess the situation and make changes if needed.

On Cowan Road, the contractor will have crews on stand-by during the storm to keep the road clear of any barricades or barrels that are knocked over by Isidore's winds.