‘Until landfall, Irma remains a threat to us’

Biloxi Public Works Director Billy Ray Allen set steps in motion today to have some of the upper-level, difficult-to-reach windows boarded up at a couple of city buildings as city staff continued to monitor weather reports.

“I know it appears that Irma is turning toward Florida,” Biloxi Chief Administrative Officer Mike Leonard said, “but until this storm makes landfall and you know where it’s going, I think it remains a threat to us.”

And Irma is one of three hurricane now being tracked the National Weather Service: Jose is more than a thousand miles east of the Lesser Antilles, but the storm is quickly strengthening and headed west-northwest at 16 mph. And Katia, packing 75 mph winds and moving to the southeast, is now 185 miles east of Tampico, Mexico. (See the positions of the trio by clicking here.)

City staff, meantime, were taking precautionary measures. Allen, the Public Works director, instructed workers to begin boarding up second floor windows at the West Biloxi library, on Pass Road in west Biloxi, and the Old Brick House, the city-owned historic property on Back Bay.

“We have a number of buildings that we’d have to board up if it got to that point,” Allen said, “and we don’t want to be doing them all at the last minute. This is strictly a few upper-level windows at those two facilities.”

Leonard said residents should continue to monitor weather reports:  “As we have said so often, people should not be alarmed. Just continue to monitor the weather reports, have a plan and work your plan.”
See the positions of Irma, Jose and Katia
See the local extended forecast 


Fireman’s Day Parade set for Sept. 16

The annual Biloxi Fireman’s Day Parade, a tradition that dates back more than 130 years, rolls through downtown Biloxi on Saturday, Sept. 16.

The parade, which is expected to feature nearly two dozen firefighting vehicles from fire departments across the Coast, will begin at 10 a.m. at the foot of Lameuse Street.  It will proceed north on Lameuse, westward on MLK Boulevard to Howard Avenue and end at the West End Hose Co. No. 3, where an open house will be held, with hamburgers, hot dogs, chips and soft drinks.

The tradition – the first recorded Fireman’s Day parade rolled in 1886 – was originally set to be staged annually on Sept. 19. It was planned as an occasion for local fire stations and firefighters to compete in various drills as public entertainment.  Biloxi Fire Chief Joe Boney has worked to keep the tradition alive.

“I felt it was important to continue the history and legacy of the department,” Boney said.  “I was influenced in part by how intertwined the parade and the community were. I want to preserve the past and get firefighters involved again, as much as they had been in the past.”

Those interested in participating in this year’s parade should contact the fire chief’s office at 228-435-6200 or jboney@biloxi.ms.us.
See Fireman’s Day parades through the years
See the parade route


News and notes

Hula hoop for the heart:The Parks & Recreation Department will hold Hoops for Hearts, a fundraiser benefiting the American Heart Association, on Saturday, from 9 a.m. to noon at the Point Cadet Pavilion.  The hula hoop-themed event is open to the public and includes a dance party with Nola Hoop Girl.  To see the flyer, click here

Festival Against Crime: The Biloxi Police Department hosts its annual Biloxi Community Festival Against Crime on Saturday, Sept. 16 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Point Cadet Plaza, 121 Cadet St.  The free event will include safety tips, demonstrations, and a chance for the public to meet the city’s police officers and firefighters.  To see the flyer, click here