A tropical storm is expected to impact the Mississippi Gulf Coast this weekend, the National Hurricane Center advises, with winds of up to 70 mph and storm surge of up to 4 feet possible.
The latest forecasts show Alberto making landfall near the Mississippi and Alabama line sometime Monday.
South Mississippians may begin to feel Alberto's tropical storm-force winds starting around 8 a.m. Sunday, according to the National Weather Service. As of Friday evening, winds of up to 40 mph were forecast for most of the area, but winds above 70 mph are possible.
"We may see a slight reprieve on Saturday, and the sun may peak out, but the weather will go downhill on Sunday," said Rupert Lacy, Harrison County Emergency Management director. The Coast can expect gusty winds Saturday with spurts of heavy rain and frequent lightning.
The weather service on Friday issued a tropical storm watch and storm surge watch for at least the following 48 hours in the lower three counties. A flash flood watch was issued for the lower three counties plus George and Stone counties through at least Saturday night.
Four to 8 inches or more of rain are likely in widespread areas across the Coast. The rain rate at times could be 2 to 3 inches per hour.
"It's going to be rain, rain and more rain, and flooding, flooding and more flooding," Lacy said.
Tornadoes are not expected to be a problem on the Coast, the weather service says. But impacts from strong winds could include damage to roofs, trees, mobile homes, etc. Objects that could become projectiles should be secured. Power outages also are possible.
Storm surge could rise 2 to 4 feet above ground starting early Saturday night. Impacts could include washed out roads, beach erosion and damaged piers.
The National Hurricane Center on Friday listed Alberto as the first named storm of the 2018 Atlantic hurricane season, which doesn't start for a week, on June 1.
The Hurricane Hunters flew into the Gulf of Mexico on Friday afternoon to investigate the low pressure system, which is coming from just east of the Yucatan Peninsula, the weather service says. The system formed in to a subtropical storm near Cozumel late Friday morning.
Gautier and Biloxi declared states of emergency on Friday, and leaders across the Coast began making emergency preparedness plans. Sand bag locations opened across the Mississippi Coast.
"Please prepare and finish review of your plans and necessary actions for the potential of advisories, watches or warnings being issued," Lacy said.
Lacy also urges the public to keep up with weather reports for the latest updates.
- County Road Department at 10076 Lorraine Road (Mississippi 605) in Gulfport
- D’Iberville Work Center at 10085 Doris Deno St. in D’Iberville
- Lyman Work Center at 15001 County Farm Road in Gulfport
- Woolmarket Work Center at 16395 Old Woolmarket Road (off of Mississippi 67) in Biloxi
- Long Beach Work Center at 605 North Seal Ave. in Long Beach
- Orange Grove Work Center at 8300 34th Ave. in Gulfport
- Long Beach Pavilion at Highway 90 in Gulfport
- Courthouse Road Pier at Highway 90 in Gulfport
- Henry Beck Park at 671 Division St.
- Todd Migues Park at 425 Parker St.
- Cavalier Park at 2059 Lawrence St.
- Popp's Ferry Soccer Fields at 2150 Popp's Ferry Road
- Fire Station 8 at 8479 Woolmarket Road
- Fire Station 9 at 9370 Oaklawn Road
- Public Works Center at 200 West North St.
- Gulfport Public Works Center at 4050 Hewes Ave.
- Orange Grove Community Center at 14416 Dedeaux Road
- Fire Station #2 at 1200 42nd Ave.
- Escatawpa Fire Station 3801 Sentinel Drive, Moss Point
- Northeast Fire Station Old Americus Road, just off Hwy 63
- Central Division Roads Department 8500 Jim Ramsey Road, Vancleave
- East Division Roads Department 10825 Hwy. 63, Moss Point
- West Division Roads Department N. Washington Avenue (Hwy. 609), Ocean Springs
- Forts Lake Fire Department 10701 Forts Lake Road
- Gulf Park/St. Andrews Fire Department 1401 Elm Street, Ocean Springs
- Gautier City Hall (behind building) 3330 Highway 90, Gautier
- Moss Point - Central Fire Station (behind station) 4204 Bellview Ave., Moss Point
- Ocean Springs Public Works 712 Pine Drive, Ocean Springs
- Jackson County Fairgrounds 2902 Shortcut Road, Pascagoula
- Gautier City Hall, 3330 U.S. 90 (behind the building)
(available after 1 p.m. Friday)
- Hancock County Arena, 4184 Kiln DeLisle Road, Kiln
- Hancock County Old Complex, 3068 Longfellow Drive, Bay St. Louis
- Lakeshore Community Center, 6440 Lower Bay Road, Lakeshore
- West Hancock Fire Department, 16006 Washington Street, Pearlington
- Bayside Fire Department, 6215 West Hinds Street
- Diamondhead City Hall, 5000 Diamondhead Circle