Flood watch upgraded to flood warning

Biloxi and all of Harrison County are now under a flood warning until 4:15 this afternoon, meaning flooding is imminent or occurring in the area and property owners should take appropriate action.

Earlier, the National Weather Service had issued the warning for the southwestern areas of the county. A warning means conditions favorable for flooding and residents should secure their property and remain alert to weather advisories.

The weather service increased its advisory to a warning as it continues to forecast more than seven inches of rain for Biloxi and south Mississippi between now and Sunday.

Showers and thunderstorms are expected to continue throughout the afternoon and evening, and between one and two inches of rain could fall this evening. Another one to two inches of rain is forecast for during the day Friday.

Low-lying thoroughfares in the city are expected to be inundated with rainwater and other low-lying areas are expected to be closed as rain continues.

Local emergency managers reported Wednesday that weather models show as much as 3 to 8 inches of rainfall may occur, and city Public Works crews today are continuing to clear storm drains and catch basins of any litter or debris, so the city’s drainage systems can better accommodate the expected rainfall.

“Make no mistake,” said Biloxi Public Works Director Billy Ray Allen. “We’re taking the steps that we need to take, but anytime you are expecting rainfall of this magnitude, you’re going to have street flooding.”

Motorists are reminded not to attempt to drive vehicles through flooded areas. Two feet of rushing water can carry away most vehicles.

Shelter: The Salvation Army, meantime, has announced that its Cold Weather Shelter in Gulfport will open this afternoon at 2 to offer individuals refuge from the stormy conditions.  The Salvation Army is also soliciting volunteers to staff the shelter. Those interested in registering as a volunteer can do so online by clicking here or by calling 207-2303.
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