Isaac expected to become hurricane this evening

A Hurricane Hunters aircraft has indicated that maximum sustained winds with Tropical Storm Isaac have increased and are now near 70 mph, with higher gusts.

Isaac, which covers 350 miles, is expected to become a hurricane later tonight or early Tuesday and continue to strengthen until landfall occurs along the northern Gulf Coast, which is expected to occur late Tuesday night or very early Wednesday.

Forecasters also say the storm could reach Category 2 – with winds from 96 to 110 mph – at landfall.

Current conditions: To see the current conditions for Biloxi, from the National Weather Service, click here.

Weather service track: To see the current position of the storm and forecasted track, click here.

Live Gulf radar: To see real-time radar showing the northern Gulf of Mexico, click here.

City Council postpones meetings; city employees to report as usual

The Biloxi City Council has postponed its Tuesday meetings to Thursday. Councilmembers had planned to meet Tuesday morning to discuss the municipal budget, and conduct their regular meeting Tuesday afternoon. The afternoon meeting has been rescheduled for Thursday at 1:30 p.m.

Meantime, Mayor A.J. Holloway said this afternoon that all city employees were expected to report to work Tuesday at their usual time.

Recap of closings

Edgewater Mall: Edgewater Mall will close this evening at 9 and will remain closed Tuesday and Wednesday, with plans to re-open Thursday, according to Mall Manager Terry Powell.

Schools: Public schools in Biloxi will be closed Tuesday and Wednesday. All extra-curricular activities – sports or band practice, for instance – are also canceled. The plan is for classes to resume at their usual times on Thursday.

Public housing: Administrative offices of the Biloxi Housing Authority will be closed Tuesday and Wednesday. Director of Development Helen Werby says BHA hopes to re-open its offices Thursday.

Court: Biloxi Municipal Court has been canceled for Tuesday and Wednesday. Those with cases scheduled will be notified of new court dates. Court will resume its regular schedule on Thursday. Community Court cases scheduled for Tuesday will be heard on Sept. 11.

Visitors Center: The Biloxi Visitors Center will be closed Tuesday and Wednesday.

DRC: The Community Development Department has canceled the Development Review Committee meeting scheduled for Wednesday.

Causeway open: The Popp’s Ferry causeway area, including the boat launches at that site, are now open to the public.

Morning Call: The Biloxi Chamber of Commerce has canceled the Morning Call scheduled for Thursday at Bay Breeze Event Center at Keesler.

Katrina cancellations: Two Katrina events – a book discussion with Dr. James Pat Smith scheduled for Tuesday at the Visitors Center, and the city’s annual Katrina memorial planned for Wednesday – have been canceled.