Holloway orders mandatory evacuation of low-lying areas

Biloxi Mayor A.J. Holloway, after continuing to view evolving forecasts of Hurricane Dennis, has called for a mandatory evacuation of residents in low-lying areas of Biloxi and those in high wind-vulnerable structures.

Various forecast models have the hurricane making landfall anywhere from Gulfport to Pensacola and as early as 2 p.m. Sunday. At 4 p.m., the National Weather Service reported that Dennis had winds of 105 mph and was expected to strengthen, and that the storm was 415 miles southeast of Biloxi, moving northwest at 14 mph and forecast to turn to the north northwest tonight or Sunday. (To see advisory, click here.)

“This storm has worried me from the beginning,” Holloway said, “and more so as time has gone by, based on the information and the forecasts I’m seeing.”

Several years ago, Biloxi Police officers used large military vehicles to navigate dark and floodwater-covered streets to rescue homeowners in low-lying areas of Point Cadet, a situation that Holloway believes should be avoided if possible.

“Where should people evacuate to?” Holloway declared. “I expect people in the affected areas to look at either spending the night with relatives or friends to the north or west, or go to a public shelter. It all depends on your individual situation, where you live and what roads you are near. These are all things that folks in low-lying areas should or need to be addressing now.

“This is not a time to be alarmed. It’s a time to take the appropriate measures to ensure the safety of you and your family.”