Residents encouraged to monitor reports, prepare

Mayor A.J. Holloway is advising residents to continue to monitor weather reports and work their storm plans, as current forecasts predict that Hurricane Ida could make landfall with 85 mph winds and a storm surge of 5 to 8 feet on Tuesday morning.

A hurricane watch – which means a hurricane or hurricane-related hazards could threaten within 36 hours — is now in effect for South Mississippi.

Hurricane Ida is now in the southern Gulf of Mexico as a Category 2 hurricane. As of 3 p.m., top winds were near 100 mph and it was located 510 miles south-southeast of the mouth of the Mississippi River. The storm was moving north-northwest around 10 mph.

The National Weather Service forecast says winds could range between 15 and 20 mph this evening, increasing to as high as 35 mph Monday, to between 50 and 55 Monday night before dropping to 15 and 20 mph as the day progresses Tuesday.

A 30 percent chance of rain is forecast for this evening, increasing to 90 percent Monday, and 70 percent Monday night.

“We could begin seeing high water tonight, particularly along some of the low-lying areas that traditionally flood, such as low points on Lorraine and Cedar Lake roads,” said Linda Atterberry of the Biloxi Police Department. “We’ve already activated our pre-event plan in the Police Department, meaning that all leaves have been canceled and all officers are on standby.”

Mayor Holloway, meantime, said residents should remain calm and take action as necessary. “Everyone should know their situation, the threat their property faces from water, so they should be planning accordingly. We’ll pass along more updates as we get them, but right now the best advice is to work your plan.”

More info online

—Watch to-do list: What should you be doing now that the area is under a storm watch? To find out, click here.

To see the National Weather Service advisories on Ida, as well as the storm’s latest coordinates, click here.

—Online radar: To see real-time, online radar, click here. Once on the radar site, click “Loop” on the left side of the screen to see the 10 most recent images. Arrows at the top left of the page allow you to visit radar sites east and west along the Gulf Coast.

—Checklist: Know what you need in an emergency supply kit? To read about how to prepare for storms and flooding, click here.