Public works, police and businesses prepping for possible storm impact

Updated: Jul. 10, 2019 at 3:15 PM CDT
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OCEAN SPRINGS, Miss. (WLOX) - All eyes are on the Gulf of Mexico, where potential tropical trouble is brewing. That trouble could cause problems for us here on the Gulf Coast over the next couple of days.

The tropical disturbance has already caused issues over in Louisiana, with some flooding being reported. That’s the kind of impact we could also see in South Mississippi. So as the old saying goes, and hurricane veterans know it all too well, hope for the best but prepare for the worst.

Grocery stores are popular places when a storm is threatening. People stock up on water, plenty of ice and foods that won’t perish. The stores have to be prepared for the rush.

“They’re already sending up pallets of water, which is probably the biggest seller we have," said Chuck Clark, manager of Rouses Market in Ocean Springs. "We’ve talked with the vendors, the bread vendors, and tell them to bring in extra. We’re already on top of the game, we’ve already contacted everybody and everything is on the way.”

For public works employees, these are busy days. Ditches have to be cleared, and more importantly, stuff left on the side of the road has got to go, according to Allan Ladnier with the Ocean Springs Public Works department.

“Right now, we’re trying to get up all the trash we can that’s on the curb, and we’ d like to get the people to make sure if they put anything out not to set it in the waterflow of the curb because it’s going to create a blockage," Ladnier said.

One of the most important aspects of storm preparedness is for those on the front lines of keeping us safe, first responders and police officers. For those who work in that profession, they are now in full swing.

“We’ve put people on standby at the very least, and if it seems like it’s going to be something serious, like a category 2 or above, we have people at the station 24-7. We’re ready to go at a moment’s notice," said Ocean Springs Police Capt. William Jackson.

In the event of a storm strike, people may get hurt, and that’s why hospitals are putting their storm protocols into place.

“We make sure we have enough food for the patients," said Heath Thompson, administrator with Ocean Springs Hospital. "We make sure all of our pharmacy supplies and our surgical supplies, that we have several days worth. We have generators that can run seven days if the power were to go out in the city.”

If the storm does form, it will be called Barry.

The National Hurricane Center is issuing advisories every three hours on the development of the system. Our WLOX First Alert Weather Team will be on top of things as well.

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