Prepare for river flooding, Gilich warns

Biloxi Mayor Andrew “FoFo” Gilich says residents in low-lying areas, especially those near the Biloxi and Wolf rivers, should make plans for rising river levels, and those throughout Biloxi should remember that more rain may be expected later in the day.

Areas of Biloxi sustained as much as 10 inches of rainfall this morning in an early morning deluge that flooded most city streets and all low-lying areas.

The police and fire departments received 170 emergency calls between 5 a.m. and 9 a.m., generating 79 calls for service, mostly involving stranded motorists, stalled vehicles or impassible roads.

During the height of the storm, Police Chief John Miller had 53 officers on patrol, three times more than normally on Biloxi streets. Additionally, the Biloxi Fire Department’s two highwater rescue teams worked with police to respond in heavy all-terrain military vehicles to assist stranded motorists. The Mississippi Department of Marine Resources also has trailered vessels on standby at Fire Station 9 in the west Eagle Point community.

“Our emergency responders and our Public Works crews did an excellent job and are continuing to do so,” Gilich said. “Right now, as water has receded from our major roadways, we are clearing storm drains of any debris that might be compromising our drainage systems.

“The fact is, no system can handle the amount of water that we saw, but we have to make sure we’re doing everything we can do. Our job is to protect life and property, and we appreciate the public’s cooperation and and patience.”

At mid-morning, police asked motorists to limit traffic on roadways. There are no reports of loss of life or injuries.

The Biloxi and Wolf rivers, meantime, remain a concern for first responders.

“I fully expect to see these rivers to begin rising,” Police Chief Miller said. “We are asking people in low-lying areas to take necessary precautions now, to consider your options.”

Emergency Management leaders say the Biloxi River, which has a flood stage of 12 feet, is expected to crest Friday morning at 16.5 feet. The Wolf River, which has a flood stage of 8 feet, is expected to crest Friday morning at 10.5 feet.
See real-time radar
See conditions at the Biloxi River
See conditions at the Wolf River
See conditions at the Tchoutacabouffa River



News and notes

Volunteer ceremony: The city’s Volunteer Recognition Ceremony scheduled for later today at the Biloxi Civic Center remains on schedule at the this time. The ceremony begins at 5:30 p.m. For details, click here.

Traffic updates: A stream of advisories about weather-related road closures and other information has been passed along this morning on the city’s Facebook and Twitter platforms. To Like and follow those pages, click here.