GULFPORT, Miss. (WLOX) - The Pebble Creek neighborhood in Gulfport looked like a disaster area in October 2017.
Frightened neighbors had to be saved by swift water rescue first responders.
It’s enough even for those new to the area, like Brad Caldwell, to be ready for Tropical Storm Barry to come barreling through.
“It’s preparation, just making sure that we have batteries, we have food, we have water,” he said. “For the first time ever, we do have sand bags. We’ve never had them before in New Orleans, but we did get sand bags for this house because of the potential flooding in this neighborhood, just to make sure.”
The neighborhood is well posted that the street is a flood risk, so people know what they’re buying into.
Cassie Alford has been a resident for nearly two years.
“We actually went and got sand bags, we have water, small food items, you know,” Alford said. “We don’t think it’s going to get too bad, but just in case for a few days, we have a few days’ worth. If we have to leave, we’ll leave. Plain and simple. We’re not going to play with it.”
Harrison County Fire Chief Pat Sullivan said it will take a joint effort to help those in need.
“Our Coast fire departments have rescue teams specially trained in water rescue,” he said. “And we’re standing those teams up, bringing in extra personnel, staffing the boats, the high-water equipment.”
He said he is asking the state to provide at least two more swift-water rescue teams for all three coastal counties.
“If this system inundates us with rain water and flooding, we’re going to have these teams out and about and ready to get into the low-lying areas or anywhere that we have the flooding,” Sullivan added.
Sullivan warned people to be safe rather than sorry.
“Every time we have flooding, we have people that try to go around barricades that don’t heed the warning of turn around don’t drown and get themselves in trouble.”
Keep up with the latest information on Tropical Storm Barry from the WLOX First Alert weather team.