Mayor calls special meeting to declare state of emergency

Mayor A.J. Holloway has called a special meeting of the Biloxi City Council this afternoon at 1:30 p.m. at City Hall, where he will ask councilmembers to declare a state of emergency to help prepare for threatening weather from Tropical Storm Arlene.

The state of emergency, which will be in effect for seven days, gives the mayor authority to make any necessary emergency purchases and take other steps to help protect city property and public safety.

To see the agenda for the 1:30 p.m. meeting, click here.

To see the latest on the storm — including view of National Weather Service radar sites along the Gulf Coast and links to the latest advisories – click here.

Mandatory evacuation ordered for beachfront marinas, harbors

Frankie Duggan of the city’s Port Division says that Harrison County Civil Defense has ordered a mandatory evacuation for all vessels in gulf-side marinas and harbors.

Duggan said the order means the more than 530 vessels in Biloxi’s three public marinas and harbors will have to seek safe anchorage in nearby rivers. The bulk of the vessels – about 300 – are moored at Point Cadet Marina, Duggan said.

“We had been under a voluntary evacuation until about 30 minutes ago,” Duggan said at lunchtime. “Since then, Civil Defense has issued a mandatory evacuation.”

Duggan said no evacuation order had been issued for the huge steel hulled shrimp boats – so-called “super slabs” — docked on Back Bay north of Lee Street.

“Right now, I’m hoping that we’ll soon be seeing the boats in the Billfish Classic start returning before too long,” Duggan said. “The boats will be low on fuel, so they’ll have to re-fuel and either head home or head up river. Organizers of the tournament had moved it up a day, so it ends today. From what I understand, of the 125 boats that had been originally registered for the tournament, about 30 or 40 of the ones from Louisiana have already headed for home.”

News and notes

On call: Key personnel in the city’s Fire, Police and Public Works departments have been notified to be on call if needed for the next couple of days.

Juneteenth postponed: The Juneteenth observance scheduled for tonight and this weekend in Beck Park has been postponed until next weekend.