Irma: It’s not too soon to begin preparing

Weather forecasters are days away from being able to gauge how much of a threat Hurricane Irma will be to the continental U.S., but it’s not too early for Biloxi residents to make some preparations, says Biloxi Chief Administrative Officer Mike Leonard.  

“The first advice is to stay tuned to the weather reports from official sources,” Leonard said this afternoon, “but it’s also a time to review your storm plan and your storm kit to make sure you’re prepared. It’s a matter of being prudent.”

The Category 5 storm, now packing winds of 185 mph, is expected to be catastrophic, delivering life-threatening wind, storm surge, and rainfall hazards to portions of the northeastern Leeward Islands beginning later today and the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico beginning Wednesday. Cuba could be in Irma’s path later this week.

By this weekend, the National Hurricane Center says, the storm could impact Florida Keys and portions of the Florida peninsula; however, “it is too soon to specify the timing and magnitude of the impacts. Elsewhere, it is too early to determine what direct impacts Irma might have on the continental United States. Everyone in hurricane-prone areas should ensure that they have their hurricane plan in place.”

Says Leonard: “That’s the best advice right now: Monitor weather reports and review your hurricane plan. If you don’t have one, now is the time to be creating one.”
How to prepare for a hurricane
See the latest on Irma
The extended forecast for Biloxi


Garbage, trash meeting is tonight at Gruich center

The Harrison County Utility Authority, the agency that oversees residential garbage, trash and recycling efforts in Biloxi and other cities, will discuss the new pickup services and answer questions during a community meeting this evening from 6 to 7 at the Dr. Frank G. Gruich Sr. Community Center on Howard Avenue.

The meeting, which is open to all Biloxians regardless of where you live in the city, will begin with a presentation about the new services, which will begin Oct. 1. Residents also will have a chance to ask questions. Another meeting is planned for Thursday, Sept. 21 at the Donal M. Snyder Sr. Community Center on Pass Road.

The biggest changes for Biloxi under the contract with the utility authority is that garbage, recycling and trash pickup will be one day a week instead of twice a week, and the monthly fee increases to $14.33, from $12.50. Team Waste will handle garbage and recycling efforts, and a new second company, Pelican Waste & Debris, will be dedicated to trash pick up.

Pickup for areas north of I-10 and the Eagle Point area will be Thursday of each week and south of I-10 will be Friday. (See the map by clicking here.)

Among the steps are that bins will have computer chips that will track the location of bins and whether they were picked up as scheduled, and a customer service number – 228-701-9086 – to handle any missed service. The number currently rings directly to HCUA offices. After the new service begins Oct. 1, residents will have a centralized automated menu to connect directly with Team Waste, Pelican Waste or HCUA to report any issues they may be experiencing. 
City Desk: A discussion about the new service
Answers to frequently asked questions
More about the new carts
See a map of the pickup schedule
What to do with hazardous waste


Shuckers end 2017 season at 71-66

The Biloxi Shuckers, who wrapped up their season Monday, with a three-hit shutout over the Mobile BayBears, ended the 2017 campaign with a 71-66 record, the third time the team has finished better than .500 since moving to Biloxi in 2015.

As the season comes to a close, centerfielder Johnny Davis led the team with a .263 batting average, 133 hits and a league-best 52 stolen bases. Rightfielder Clint Coulter paces the team with 14 home runs, and shortstop Angel Ortega led the team with 50 RBI. On the pitching side, Aaron Wilkerson’s team-leading 11 wins are tied for fourth, his 3.16 ERA is eighth, his 143 strikeouts are third, and his 1.07 WHIP is best in the league. Matt Ramsey’s franchise-record 27 saves led the Southern League, and the recently-promoted Nick Ramirez tied for third with 48 relief appearances.

The first-half champion Pensacola Blue Wahoos will host the second-half champion Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp when the South Division playoffs begin this week. The winner of that series will face the winner of Chattanooga and Montgomery from the North Division to determine the Southern League champion.

The Shuckers open up their 2018 season on the road at Montgomery before their home opener against Mississippi on April 11.
Visit the Shuckers website


New and notes

Council meeting: The Biloxi City Council meets twice on Tuesday. During a 3 p.m. meeting, Mayor Andrew “FoFo” Gilich will discuss the city’s employee compensation schedule, and at a 6 p.m. meeting councilmembers face an agenda of more than two dozen measures. To see the agenda and supporting documents for both meetings, click here.

The week that was: The Biloxi Police Department reported 2,116 calls for service last week, while the Biloxi Fire Department had 134 calls, including 86 medical emergencies. And the Community Development Department issued 61 permits for a total valuation of $1.72 million. To see the details in the Weekly Reports archive, click here.