Biloxi will see winds begin picking up Saturday morning and conditions will deteriorate throughout the afternoon, with the brunt of Tropical Storm Karen being felt Sunday morning about 7, when the storm is expected to be south of Pascagoula.
Winds – which have gusts of up to 20 mph this afternoon – will be sustained at 40 mph, with gusts up to 60 mph Saturday morning. You can also expect to see 6 inches of rain during TS Karen, seas of up to 8 feet, and the possibility of flooding of roadways in low-lying areas.
That's the word from Biloxi Emergency Manager Milton Houseman, who continues to monitor storm briefings with his local colleagues and weather authorities. Houseman briefed Mayor A.J. Holloway and the Biloxi City Council this morning during a meeting when the City Council declared a state of emergency.
The action provides the mayor broader authority in preparing for the storm.
"We don't want to alarm anyone, and we're not minimizing this storm either," said Chief Administrative Officer David Nichols. "We're being prudent. As we understand it at this point, it looks like it's going to be a rain event, with some wind. But people should still take steps to prepare and continue to monitor weather reports, and take action as recommended."
The Mississippi Gaming Commission had no plans to close casino resorts as of Friday afternoon.
Biloxi Port Division Manager Larry Sablich has stopped short of issuing a mandatory evacuation order for the city's three public harbors in Biloxi, but leaders are recommending that boat owners seek safe waters north of the Bay of Biloxi.
At the Popp's Ferry bridge, the span had been raised to allow 26 vessels to pass through the bridge in the five hours between 8:13 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. enroute to safer anchorage. A typical Friday morning would have seen four or five vessels, including coal barges.
Biloxi Public Works laborers have begun securing barricades along west beach U.S. 90. The barricades had been erected for crowds expected for Cruisin' the Coast, which remains on schedule. Crews had also been clearing storm drains in low-lying areas Friday morning.
KIaren news and notes: Details, details,m details
Detailed briefing: To see a detailed briefing on Tropical Storm Karen, as released at noon by the National Weather Service Slidell office, click here.
Real-time forecast and radar: To see the very latest from the National Weather Service, click here.
Power-ful news: You can now track power outages on the Mississippi Power website in real-time. To go directly to the outage map, click here.
Power-ful plans: Steven Dick, Mississippi Power's Biloxi manager, discusses storm prep in this week's edition of the City Desk webcast. To listen to the eight-minute program, which was recorded this morning, click here.
Be Like-minded, Biloxi: The city Facebook page will be the platform for quick storm news this weekend. Go the Facebook page by clicking here and hit Like.
And, finally, yes there's still a Finally Friday in downtown Biloxi
The Fireman's Day parade scheduled for Satuday has been canceled, but Main Street Biloxi is moving forward with its Finally Friday soiree in downtown Biloxi this evening from 5 to 8.
You'll find food, music and drink, with The Band Called Summer in Margaret Tremmel Peresich Park; artists Gail Chaney & Carol Marie Stuart and the DD Thunders Band at Gallery 782; an IPA Run kicks off at 6 at Zeppelins; Strange Bird Studios has artists Catie Daniel and Carmen Lugo; and you'll find mosaic art demonstrations by Joanna Nygard Slay at the Side Porch Gallery.
Weekend preview: To see the weekend entertainment lineup, as compiled by the Mississippi Gulf Coast Regional Convention and Visitors Bureau,