Mississippi Coast prepares for Tropical Storm Gordon before landfall
Enjoying the Tuesday sunshine? Well, it will soon be gone as Tropical Storm Gordon moves toward the Coast.
Hancock, Harrison and Jackson counties remain under a hurricane warning as the storm is expected to make landfall Tuesday night.
Rain bands are expected to start moving across South Mississippi before noon, according to the National Weather Service in New Orleans, and the heavy rain will not be far behind.
“There could be 7-8 inches of rainfall Tuesday night and Wednesday and maybe even some locally higher areas of 10-12 inches,” said weather service meteorologist Phil Grigsby. “We also have a chance of feeder bands developing Wednesday morning and there’s an 80 percent chance of rain on Wednesday.”
The storm warning also brings a storm surge warning.
“The surge could be 3-5 feet from Harrison County to Jackson County,” he said. “It will be less in Hancock County because it should be to the west of the storm’s center.”
A flood warning is also in effect for rivers along the Coast including the Wolf River, Tchoutacabouffa River and Biloxi River.
The Wolf River is expected to crest at 8.5 feet Wednesday morning, and the Tchoutacabouffa River is expected to crest at 9 feet.
The Biloxi River is expected to crest at 15 feet on Wednesday.
“There could be some minor flooding along the Wolf, Biloxi and Tchoutacabouffa rivers for the next few days,” Grigsby said.
The storm, as of 10 a.m., is still on track to hit Harrison County.
“The eye of the storm is expected to hit Harrison County sometime Tuesday night,” Grigsby said. “But it’s not really an ‘eye’ because the storm still doesn’t have a well-defined center because it’s not a well-designed system.”
Mississippi Gaming Commission orders the 12 casinos on the Coast to close by 5 p.m.
Pass Christian has changed all traffic lights to flashing lights, treat all as four-way stops, Harrison County Sheriff’s Department reports.
Hancock County issued a volunteer evacuation order for all low-lying areas and those living on rivers, inlets, bayou creeks, or in trailers or mobile homes.
Gov. Phil Bryant has signed a State of Emergency and an Executive Order authorizing the use of the Mississippi National Guard as Tropical Storm Gordon advances to the Gulf of Mexico. The National Guard has personnel in pre-positioned in the lower six counties of Mississippi.
Biloxi declares state of emergency for city.
State of emergency declared for Harrison County and the cities of Pass Christian, Long Beach and Biloxi.
- Jackson County: Central Jackson County Shelter, 5500 Ballpark Road, Vancleave, and East Jackson County Safe Room, 18413 Mississippi 613, Hurley
- Harrison County: County Farm Hurricane Shelter opens at 2 p.m.
- Hancock County: Kiln Safe Room, 18324 Highway 43, Kiln
- George County: Agricola Safe Room, 3161 Cooks Corner Road, Lucedale, and Bendale Safe Room, 5207 Mississippi 26 West, Lucedale, both open at 2 p.m.
- Stone County: Stone Elementary, 1652 East Central Ave., Wiggins, opening at 5:30 p.m.
- The State Medical Needs Shelter at 1640 Coy Avenue in Wiggins, will open at 1 p.m. Tuesday. It is a shelter for people whose medical needs cannot be accommodated in a general population shelter.
- What to bring to a shelter: Bedding, a change of clothes, medications, snacks, an emergency kit, small toys for children. Alcoholic beverages, illegal drugs and weapons are not allowed.
Gordon: A potential time line
Tuesday, 12-5 p.m.
Grigsby said the rain chances will increase from around 30 percent to 100 percent Tuesday afternoon.
He said the storm should be a familiar one to the Coast.
“It has some potential to put some water over Highway 90,” Grigsby said. “This storm is very similar to Hurricane Nate that hit the Coast last October.
After 5 p.m.
Winds will increase, Grigsby said, sometime late Tuesday afternoon.
“The winds will gradually increase from 30-40 mph to 50 and above as the storm gets closer to landfall,” he said. “We can expect to see average winds at 40-60 mph with some gusts of 70-80 mph.”
9 p.m.- 2 a.m.
Should Gordon become a hurricane, it is likely to make landfall around 9 p.m. Tuesday, Grigsby said. It should remain in the area for a few hours.
Most schools along the Coast are closed on Tuesday or are running short days. A list of closures can be found here.
All parks and islands under the Gulf Islands National Seashore system have been closed for the duration of Gordon.