The Jackson County Board of Supervisors proclaimed a “Declaration of Local Emergency” today in advance of Tropical Storm Isaac. A Hurricane Warning is now in effect for Jackson County. National Weather Service forecasters are predicting drenching rains as this system moves ashore. The first tropical storm force winds are expected to be felt around midnight on Monday, if not earlier. Jackson County Emergency Management Director Donald Langham is asking residents living in low-lying and flood prone areas to evacuate those areas before the onset of tropical storm winds that are expected around midnight. Weather will begin to deteriorate quickly at that point. Citizens should finalize all of there pre-storm preparations and stay-tuned to local weather stations.

The Emergency Declaration allows the County to take several precautionary steps, including:

Sandbags: The County is now offering free sand bags (self serve) at the following 12 locations:

  • Latimer Community Center – 10908 Daisy Vestry Rd
  • West Division Road Department on N. Washington Ave. (Hwy. 609)
  • West Jackson County Fire Department – 15324 Big Ridge Road
  • Fountainebleu Fire Department on 3901 Hwy. 57 (south)
  • St. Andrews Fire Department – 1401 Elm St.
  • Simmons Bayou Fire Department – 2300 East Simmons Bayou (Gulf Park Estates) Forts Lake Fire Department – 10701
  • Forts Lake Rd. Orange Grove Community Center – 5625
  • Orange Grove Road Old Americus Road Fire Department – 24321 Old Americus Road
  • Three Rivers Fire Department – 16933 Hwy 63
  • East Roads Department on Hwy. 63 in Escatawpa
  • Central Roads Department on 8500 Jim Ramsey Rd. in Vancleave

Sandbags are also available in the municipalities at the following locations:

  • Ocean Springs – Public Works Dept. at 712 Pine Drive
  • Moss Point – Old Central Fire Station at 4313 McInnis Ave (across from new City Hall)
  • Gautier – Behind City Hall on Highway 90
  • Pascagoula – Public Works Dept. on 14th Street

Small Craft Harbor: The Harbor Master is limiting access to the Small Craft Harbor in Ocean Springs. The Harbor is closed to all “transient vessels” until the threat of tropical weather subsides. All current boat owners with valid “Slip Lease Agreements” can continue to dock their boats and “come-and-go” in the Harbor. Harbor staff is contacting owners with vessels that can be put on a trailer to ask them to remove them, though it’s not required. Boats left in the Harbor must be tied down securely.

UPDATED – Garbage/Debris Pick Up: Residents in unincorporated areas of Jackson County are being asked not to place any debris or garbage cans at the side of the road for pick up. Crews are only running regular schedules on Monday as the weather permits. No additional debris will be picked up. If residents have debris at the side of the road currently they are being asked to remove it or take it to the Seaman Road Landfill. The Landfill will be open until 6 p.m. on Monday. For more information call 872-8340.

NEW – Evacuations: The Jackson County Board of Supervisors is calling for mandatory evacuations for anyone south of Highway 90 and all other low-lying and flood prone areas throughout the county. This includes residents along rivers, tributaries, flood-prone areas, as well as those living in mobile homes, recreational vehicles, and housing that could be considered unstable. Those residents that experienced flooding during Hurricane Katrina should evaluate what the effects of the possible 8-12 foot tidal surge would have to their property and make an informed decision with regard to evacuation.

Moss Point – Officials from the City of Moss Point recommend that residents in East Moss Point (Kreole Area), Rose Drive, and along portions of River Road heed the recommendations for evacuation.

SHELTERS: Emergency Shelters – The County and American Red Cross are opening 3 Emergency Shelters at 4 p.m. Monday afternoon. Residents going to a shelter should bring medication, sleeping gear, a change of clothes, snacks and all needs for children. The Red Cross website www.mississippi-redcross.org provides information about shelter guidelines, hurricane preparation, and a downloadable hurricane app. The shelters include:

  • St. Martin High School
  • Vancleave High School
  • East Central High School
  • Special Needs Shelter will open at the East Central Community Center at 4 p.m. (4300 Hwy 614, Hurley)

NEW – Transportation to Shelters – Transportation is available to Jackson County residents who are unable to make their own arrangements. Transportation will be available until 10 p.m. tonight. After that time all transportation requests must be made through your local law enforcement agency.

Pet Sheltering – Animals are not allowed at the emergency shelters. However, residents who will be utilizing the emergency shelters and have pets have an option. Animal Shelter staff will be available at each site to take pets to a designated pet shelter site in Vancleave on Tuesday, August 28th. Residents who want to do this should be prepared to sign their animals over to the staff. They do not need to bring food, but can if the pet is on a special diet. Residents will also need to pick them up once they leave the emergency shelter. This service is only for residents staying in the emergency shelters listed above. No drop offs will be accepted. In addition, the County’s Animal Shelter will not be accepting owner surrenders or strays at this time either.

All Jackson County offices will be closed on Tuesday, August 28th and Wednesday, August 29th. Offices will be open again on Thursday, August 30th.

All official County announcements and news releases will come from the County’s Emergency Management Office and/or Public Information Office. All pre-storm updates will also be posted on the County’s website for verification. If residents have question about any of the above information they can contact the Emergency Management Office at 228-769-3111.

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