Weather

Harvey may be ‘erratic’ after landfall, official says. Here’s what to expect on the Coast.

Hurricane Harvey is expected to be a major hurricane when the storm makes landfall on the Texas Coast.
Hurricane Harvey is expected to be a major hurricane when the storm makes landfall on the Texas Coast. National Weather Service

Harvey’s back, he’s a hurricane and he’s building up steam heading into Texas — and that means South Mississippi should get ready for some wet weather over the weekend.

The Associated Press reported that forecasters said it would be the first major hurricane to hit the middle Texas coastline in nearly 15 years.

At 7 p.m., Hurricane Harvey had 85 mph peak winds and was centered about 340 miles south-southeast of Corpus Christi. Harvey is moving northwest at 10 mph.

Sustained winds reached 85 mph more than a day before landfall is expected.

The National Weather Service predicts Harvey will strike the Texas Coast early Saturday morning between Port O'Connor and Matagorda Bay, a 30-mile stretch of coastline about 70 miles northeast of Corpus Christi. The NWS predicts Harvey will make landfall as a Category 3 storm with winds of about 115 mph.

Harvey would be the first major hurricane to hit Texas since Ike in September 2008 brought winds of 110 mph to the Galveston and Houston areas and left damages of $22 billion.

Forecasters said a “life-threatening” storm surge along with rains and wind were likely as Harvey was intensifying faster than previously forecast. A major hurricane means winds greater than 110 mph.

Because it is positioned over extremely warm waters and strengthening so fast, Harvey may become the first major hurricane rated Category 3 or higher (on the 1-5 Saffir Simpson intensity scale) to strike U.S. soil in 12 years.

According to Bloomberg, an incredible amount of rain, exceeding 20 inches in some areas, is likely as the storm is predicted to stall and unload torrential downpours for four straight days.

But what does Harvey mean for South Mississippi? Although the path of the storm is uncertain, it is expected to bring rain to the Mississippi Gulf Coast over the next several days.

The National Weather Service in New Orleans predicts a moderate risk of prolonged rain between Friday and Tuesday. Rainfall of 5 to 10 inches is expected in Hancock, Harrison and Jackson counties.

Harrison County Emergency Manager Rupert Lacy said those precipitation totals could double if the Coast is caught in a “prolonged rain ban” as Harvey makes landfall.

Lacy said flood warnings may be necessary for area rivers heading into next week if the rain causes flooding.

Lacy said officials can not predict which areas in South Mississippi that will be most affected by Harvey because the storm’s track could become uncertain after it makes landfall.

Alek Krautmann, a meteorologist with the NWS New Orleans, said the storm could become “erratic.”

“The track for the next two days is pretty solid — it’s headed over South Texas, but we’re not certain what is going to happen after it makes landfall,” he said. “Once it stalls over Texas, it could become erratic and move back into the Gulf, so it’s something we will be continually monitoring.”

Self-serve sandbag locations

Residents should bring their own shovels.

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

Jackson County

Beginning at 11 a.m. Friday.

  • West Division Roads Department, North Washington Avenue (Mississippi 609), Ocean Springs/St. Martin
  • East Division Roads Department, 10825 Mississippi 63, Moss Point
  • Central Division Roads Department, 8500 Jim Ramsey Road, Vancleave
  • St. Andrews Fire Department, 1401 Elm St., Ocean Springs/St. Andrews
  • Escatawpa VFD, 3801 Sentinel Drive, Moss Point
  • Forts Lake Fire Department, 10701 Forts Lake Road, Moss Point
  • Old Americus Road Fire Department, 24321 Old Americus Road, Lucedale
  • Gautier City Hall (behind building), 3330 U.S. 90, Gautier
  • Moss Point - Central Fire Station (behind station), 4204 Bellview Ave., Moss Point
  • Ocean Springs Public Works, 712 Pine Drive, Ocean Springs
  • Pascagoula Recycling Center, 4011 14th St., Pascagoula
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