City, county urge residents to prepare for Kat

Mayor A.J. Holloway is joining county Emergency Management Agency officials in urging residents to begin making preparations for Hurricane Katrina.

“This is a killer storm,” Holloway said this afternoon, “and people need to be working their personal storm plans – making sure their vehicles are fueled up, securing their property, and strongly consider evacuating to either the east or northeast. You need to be considering these things now.”

On Sunday evening, residents could begin experiencing winds ranging from 40 to 60 mph, depending on the path of the storm over the next several hours. Tides will begin rising Sunday afternoon.

Holloway met with county emergency management officials this morning before briefing city department directors this afternoon. City workers this afternoon began securing municipal buildings, particularly the city’s historic properties.

Evacuation of vessels from marinas, harbors

The city is advising owners of pleasure craft and commercial shrimpers to begin moving their vessels to safer anchorage this afternoon, and all vessels should be evacuated by 6 a.m. Sunday.

The evacuation will impact as many as 200 so-called “super slabs,” steel-hulled 80- to 120-foot long commercial shrimp boats, according to Frankie Duggan of the Biloxi Port Division.

”We want these boat owners to start moving now, because we’re expecting a heavy volume of vehicles crossing the bridges Sunday morning, and we want to avoid backing up traffic – for cars or boats.”
Once winds reach 34 mph, spans will not be opened to allow marine traffic to pass.

Shelters to open Sunday at 4 p.m.

Emergency management officials have announced that two storm shelters are scheduled to open Sunday at 4 p.m. in Biloxi:
–North Bay Elementary, 1825 Popp’s Ferry Road, Biloxi;
–Biloxi Junior High School, 1424 Father Ryan Ave., Biloxi.
There are currently no plans to open Gorenflo Elementary School, which had been used as a shelter for previous storms.

To see the complete list of shelters in Harrison County and other info on the shelters,
click here..

City activates Storm Info line

Biloxi Police Chief Bruce Dunagan, in an effort to reduce non-emergency calls to the city’s police and fire dispatchers, has set up a storm info line at (228) 435-6300.

A brief taped message, which will be updated as needed, provides callers with answers to frequently asked questions about storm preparations in Biloxi.

Dunagan has asked that calls to the city’s police and fire dispatchers be limited to emergency situations

Detailed storm preparation info, real-time radar

You can find tips on how to prepare for a storm, local flood zone information, and links to the National Weather Service’s real-time radar sites along the Gulf of Mexico in the Storm & Flood Preparedness section of the city web site. To go there now,
click here..