Coast no longer under storm watch, but wind, flooding advisories in effect

The Mississippi Coast is no longer under a tropical storm watch from Hurricane Michael, according to a National Weather Center update.

However, the local region is under a wind advisory and a coastal flood advisory until 7 p.m. Wednesday, Harrison County Emergency Management Director Rupert Lacy said.

The weather service forecasts winds of 20 to 30 mph with gusts to 35 mph for the Mississippi Coast, Lacy said. A wind advisory means winds of 26 to 39 mph are expected, he said.

“Motorists in high-profile vehicles should use caution until the wind subsides,” Lacy said, referring to “sport utility vehicles and other high-top vehicles. When they get on elevated roads or bridges, you can feel a little more wind push.”

A coastal flood advisory also is in effect until 7 p.m. in Harrison, Hancock and Jackson counties, the weather service says.

Boaters from the east have come to the Mississippi Coast for safe harbor from the hurricane.

Also, Gulfport was designated as a safe haven for U.S. Navy personnel and families evacuated due to Michael, a tweet from the U.S. Navy says. Gulfport is home of the Naval Construction Battalion Center, home of the Atlantic Fleet Seabees.

Water levels will remain elevated through much of Wednesday, with coastal waters remaining 1 to 3 feet above normal, the weather service says.

The tide in Hancock County was at 4.48 feet above normal Tuesday morning and 3.2 above normal Wednesday morning, according to the Bay/Waveland Tide Gauge, said Hancock County Emergency Manager Brian Adam.

Hancock County, the coastal region more prone to flooding, had 73 streets with minor or heavy water over roads Wednesday morning, though the water was receding, Adam said. The number was down from 230 flooded roads on Tuesday. By Wednesday afternoon, waters were receding and only 49 streets were flooding or had water on them, Adam said.

High tide will be at 7:01 p.m. Wednesday, Adam said.

Biloxi and Jackson County officials also have reported minor flooding.

RobinFitzgerald, 228-896-2307, @robincrimenews