Thursday, September 11, 2008
[Verbatim from MEMA] PEARL – Mississippi Emergency Management Agency Director Mike Womack wants all residents living in low-lying areas to seek shelter on higher ground because of flooding from Hurricane Ike.
"Even though this is not a mandatory evacuation, we want people in flood-prone areas to get to higher ground because we expect several feet of storm surge from Ike," Womack said.
MEMA is sending its mobile command unit to the state's forward Emergency Operations Center in Gulfport today to assist Harrison, Hancock and Jackson counties as needed.
Peak flooding is expected to occur at high tide Friday morning, according to the National Weather Service. The three coastal counties are under a tropical storm warning, which means tropical storm force winds could be felt in less than 24 hours.
Sections of Highway 90 are still closed due to flooding.
Jackson County Emergency Management Director Butch Loper is reporting tide levels about five feet above average.
Jackson County plans to provide a safe haven shelter at Gautier Convention Center.
Harrison County will also provide a safe haven shelter at the Lyman Senior Center, located at 14592 County Farm Road, Gulfport. The shelter will open at 6 p.m. today.
People who choose to go to either shelter need to bring food and water for themselves and family members, any needed medications, as well as items to make a sleeping pallet.
For more information call MEMA's media line at 866-920-MEMA or visit our Web site at http://www.msema.org.