Storms lead to early school release, preparations

Biloxi Public Schools leaders have announced that students will be dismissed from class two hours early today, and city workers have been removing leaves and other debris from storm drains in low-lying areas, as residents and businesses are being encouraged to prepare for severe weather this afternoon.

In fact, the National Weather Service has issued a tornado watch for portions of south central and southeast Louisiana and south Mississippi, effective from 11:10 this morning until 5 this afternoon.

EmergencyĀ  managers have said that Biloxi and the Gulf Coastthis afternoon could see tornadoes, large hail, wind gusts of 70 mph, causing downed trees and power lines or structural damage, and rainfall of as much as 1 to 3 inches.

“We’ve had our crews out this morning clearing storm drains of any leaves or debris that might compromise our drainage systems this afternoon,” said Chief Administrative Officer David Nichols. “They’re working in the low-lying areas right now and have been since first thing this morning.”

Residents and businessowners, meantime, are being asked to pick up any trash cans,Ā lawn furniture or other outdoor items that could become projectiles in strong winds.

“Everybody needs to do their part,” Nichols said. “Individuals know where they live and they know the risks they face. We’re asking people to take the necessary steps now, whether it’s raking up leaves in the gutters in front of their homes or, for those in low-lying areas, checking their flood vents to make sure they are free of debris.”
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