Tornado watch now in effect; curfew planned from 7 to 7

The National Weather Service has issued a tornado watch until 7 this evening for the entire Mississippi Gulf Coast, and Biloxi Police Chief John Miller says a countywide curfew will be in effect from 7 tonight to 7 Wednesday morning.

Although skies are clear, the sun is out and there’s only intermittent rainfall, water has begun ponding in areas of U.S. 90, and tides are noticeably higher. In some area, water is threatening the sea wall, and boat slips are underwater at the vacant Biloxi Small Craft Harbor.

“Everyone should be hunkering down at this point,” Miller said. “Most of the stores are closed or are in the process of closing, and every should have already purchased the supplies they need. We’re asking folks to limit traffic at this point, because water is beginning to cover some low-lying roadways.”

The area of U.S. 90 at Miramar is expected to be underwater later this afternoon, and Back Bay Boulevard west of Crawford is submerged.

The curfew this evening is designed to limit traffic, Miller said.

“We have a lot of closed businesses that we are responsible for and a lot of people are out of town, so if we see someone out after curfew, we’re going to want to know what they are doing. We’re going to ask questions.”

The National Weather Service’s tornado watch includes all of Harrison, Jackson, Hancock and Pearl River counties, as well as 11 Louisiana parishes.

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.

Road update

From Biloxi emergency dispatches, the status of roads in Biloxi:

— 1st level of the Palace Casino parking garage is under water at this time

Popp’s Ferry causeway, completely flooded and barricaded

Broadwater, south side flooding

Porter Avenue service drive being barricaded and closed

Beach Boulevard, from McDonnell to Acacia is under water

Beach Boulevard in front of the Hard Rock, water covering one lane

News and notes

The Biloxi Wal-mart store will be closing at noon today and plans to re-open Thursday.