Holloway to seek new state of emergency declaration

Mayor A.J. Holloway has asked members of the Biloxi City Council to meet Friday morning at 10:30 at City Hall to consider his request to declare a state of emergency as the city makes preparations for Hurricane Dennis, the second storm threat the city has faced in a week.

The storm, which at 4 p.m. today was 125 miles southwest of Guantanamo, Cuba, was expected to be in the Gulf of Mexico Friday night and could make landfall along the Gulf Coast – early forecasts say near Mobile Bay, Ala. – as early as Sunday.

The proposed state of emergency declaration, part of the city’s storm preparation plan, would give the mayor authority to make any necessary emergency purchases and take other steps to help protect city property and public safety.

“Dennis is a significant storm,” Holloway said. “It’s a Category 3 right now, with maximum sustained winds of 115 mph according to the Hurricane Hunters, and forecasters are saying it could very well intensify to a Category 4 once it re-enters warm Gulf waters after passing over Cuba.

“My suggestion to the general public is to do the prudent things, such as making sure to have a storm plan, have a storm kit that contains the necessary items, and, most importantly, continue to monitor weather reports and follow the advice of authorities.”

Holloway said residents should not brush aside the seriousness of the storm, particularly in the wake of Tropical Storm Cindy earlier this week.

“Keesler’s weather office measured only 4.53 inches of rain from Cindy, and we’re unaware of any major property damage in Biloxi,” the mayor said. “But that was a tropical storm that had already made landfall and was weakening by the time it passed near our area. People need to remain vigilant in monitoring these storms, and, by all means, stay prepared.”

How to prepare your storm plan and storm kit

You can find advice on making your hurricane plan and see a list of the items to include in a hurricane kit in the Storm and Flood Preparedness section of the city’s web site. To go directly there, click here.