Heavier rains expected as Gov. Bryant declares state of emergency ahead of Alberto

Subtropical Storm Alberto is making its way north toward the Mississippi Gulf Coast, bringing what is expected to be a wet Memorial Day weekend.

Gov. Phil Bryant signed a proclamation Saturday morning declaring a state of emergency ahead of Alberto's landfall.

It is not organized enough yet to be a tropical storm, and is considered subtropical.

Forecast models are not yet in agreement on the storm's track and intensity, and the National Hurricane Center is averaging the models to predict a landfall somewhere between the Mississippi/Alabama line and Destin, Florida.

After the Air Force Reserve's Hurricane Hunters again flew out to gather more data, the center's 4 p.m. Saturday update put the track further east, and some watches and warnings were removed from parts of Louisiana.

However the models so far agree that Alberto is expected to slowly gain strength as it moves over the warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico.

The timing of the storm has slowed throughout the past week. The center of Alberto is forecast to move over the eastern Gulf through Sunday night, and approach the northern Gulf Coast on Monday.

"Heavy rainfall and tropical storm conditions will likely reach the northern Gulf Coast well before the arrival of the center of Alberto," the Hurricane Center advises.

A storm surge watch and a tropical storm watch are in effect for Hancock, Harrison and Jackson counties, the National Weather Service in New Orleans advises. A flash flood watch has also been extended to Tuesday for the lower six counties. A tropical storm warning was issued for the Alabama and Florida coasts.

As of Saturday afternoon, winds of 40 mph are expected from the storm. But further strengthening, which some models predict, could bring stronger winds. Tornadoes are not expected on the Coast, the weather service said.

The biggest impact is likely to come from a combination of heavy rains.

Rainfall totals could reach 15 inches in spots, the National Hurricane Center said Saturday, with widespread areas seeing 5 to 10 inches.

The Mississippi Gulf Coast has the highest potential for those higher amounts of rain, the weather service in New Orleans said Saturday of its coverage area, which includes New Orleans, Baton Rouge and McComb.

Storm surge of 2 to 4 feet is possible.

The weather service and local officials urge residents not to attempt to drive through flooded streets. Turn around, don't drown.

Who to call

Residents with questions about Alberto preparations on the coast can call the county emergency management offices:

Hancock County: 228-255-0942

Harrison County: 228-865-4002

Jackson County: 228-769-3111

Sandbag locations

Sandbags are available at all county work centers:

Harrison County
  • 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

Pass Christian

  • 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.

Jackson County

  • 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)

Hancock County

  • 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
Related stories from Biloxi Sun Herald