PEARL—Coastal counties in Mississippi continue to feel the effects of Tropical Storm Lee. Heavy rains and increasing winds are predicted to remain in the area through the Labor Day weekend, with rains possibly lingering through Wednesday.
A Tropical Storm Warning is in effect for Hancock, Harrison, Jackson, Pearl River, Stone, George, Wilkinson, Amite, Pike and Walthall counties. Forecasters with the National Weather Service are predicting that counties in the southern portion of the state may see rainfall in excess of 15 inches. Tides in coastal areas are forecasted to be 2 to 4 feet above normal.
Some low lying areas in coastal areas are inundated, and local roadways may be closed or impassable. Motorists should avoid flooded roadways and should never drive through standing water.
A voluntary evacuation of all low lying areas remains in effect in Hancock County. The Kiln Storm Shelter on state Route 43 next to the ball fields remains open for residents who need to leave their homes. The shelter will remain open until water recedes. For further information please call the Hancock County Emergency Operations Center at 228-466-8320.
Area rivers are also forecasted to rise as Lee continues to deliver enormous amounts of rain. Rivers may crest well above flood stage in some cases.
Inland areas of the state will also be impacted. Rainfall in excess of 10 inches could be seen in areas near Hattiesburg, and central Mississippi may see similar levels.
MEMA Director Mike Womack urges Mississippians to prepare now for effects from Tropical Storm Lee.
“If you live in low lying areas that are prone to flooding, now is the time to know what you will do if you have to leave your home,” Womack said. “Having a plan could save your life.”
Tropical Storm conditions can bring periods of severe weather and high winds which could knock power out for an extended period of time. Tropical storms can also spawn tornadoes.
Residents should stay tuned to local media stations for the latest storm predictions and information form county emergency managers.
MEMA will continue to release updated information about Tropical Storm Lee as necessary.
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