Weather

With tropical rains on the way, the Coast could have the rainiest year ever

Dark clouds hover over Henderson Point during the early afternoon, Sunday, April 30, 2017.
Dark clouds hover over Henderson Point during the early afternoon, Sunday, April 30, 2017. ttisbell@sunherald.com File

The Mississippi Coast is already on track to have one of the rainiest years ever, and more is on the way as a tropical system nears the Gulf Coast.

Tropical Depression Harvey is expected to reach either tropical storm or category 1 hurricane status before it makes landfall in Texas this weekend, the National Hurricane Center advises. The bad news is the storm is expected to slow down —and could stall — once it reaches land, dumping heavy rains along the Gulf Coast and causing flooding.

Bands of the storm are expected to reach Mississippi, and start bringing rain Friday or Friday night, but the timing is not yet certain. The National Weather Service in New Orleans predicts the amount of rain to slowly increase through early next week.

The Harrison County Emergency Management Agency warns 5 to 10 inches of rain are possible through Tuesday, along with gusty winds and tides 1 to 2 feet above normal.

South Mississippi has already been inundated over the past few weeks with heavy summer rains. A warm and rainy winter, combined with Tropical Storm Cindy and a rainy summer have brought rainfall counts to near-record levels.

At the Gulfport-Biloxi Airport, 62.60 inches of rain have fallen so far this year. Since the weather service started official records there in 2000, the rainiest year has been 2002 with 74.89 inches.

Weather service meteorologist Bob Wagner said so far this year is on track to surpass that. “We are definitely way above normal,” he said.

Rainfall at Keesler Air Force Base in Biloxi is 70.34 inches so far, and the all-time record is 91.22 inches in 1995.

Lauren Walck: 228-896-2393, @laurenwalck

Self-serve sand bag locations

Harrison County

  • D’Iberville Work Center, Doris Deno Street, D’Iberville
  • Lyman Work Center, County Farm Road Gulfport
  • Lorraine Road Work Center, Cowan Road, Gulfport
  • North Gulfport Workcenter, 34th Avenue, Gulfport
  • Woolmarket Work Center, Old Woolmarket Road, Biloxi
  • Courthouse Road Parking Lot, Hwy 90, Gulfport
  • Long Beach Harbor, East Parking Lot, Hwy 90, Long Beach

Gulfport

Open 6 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily starting at noon Thursday:

  • Orange Grove Community Center on Dedeaux Road
  • 42nd Ave at the Firestation
  • The intersection of Hewes Avenue and Glover Street

Biloxi

  • Todd Migues Ball Park, 425 Parker Street
  • Soccer Fields, 2150 Popps Ferry Road (across from Margaret Sherry Library)
  • Station 8 Woolmarket Fire Station, 8479 Woolmarket Road
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