Though Hurricane Hermine has caused road flooding in low-lying areas of Hancock County on Thursday, South Mississippi is focused on sending help to Florida as the system is expected to make landfall Thursday night or Friday morning.
The National Hurricane Center upgraded Hermine from a tropical storm to a hurricane Thursday afternoon.
Mississippi Power announced it is sending more than 80 employees to the Florida Panhandle to help restore whatever power is lost as a result of Hermine.
Linemen, engineers and support personnel are among Mississippi Power representatives who will help with restoration efforts.
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“We, along with our sister companies and many other Southeastern electric utilities, have monitored this system for more than a week to understand how it will impact us,” Mississippi Power Storm Director Randall Pinkston said. “Since forecasts indicate our service territory should miss the brunt of the storm, we have the opportunity to send crews to Florida to assist in their restoration.”
Hancock Emergency Manager Brian Adam said water covered 80 streets after a high tide rolled through about noon.
Adam said the flooding was caused by Hermine’s position in the Gulf of Mexico, but he said flooding would subside as the storm moved inland and the tide went out.
“The more it goes in that way (toward Florida), the more the water’s going to go out,” Adam said.
Of the 80 streets affected by the high water, Adam said only four were impassable — most in the Shoreline Park area or in Jourdan River Shores:
- Arkansas Street at Virginia Street
- The area of Fourth Street and Bayou View Drive East
- Avenue E at Fourth Street
- Ireland Street at Manhatten Street
The Hurricane Center said Hurricane Hermine has maximum sustained winds of 75 mph. At 5 p.m. Thursday, the system was moving north-northeast at 12 mph.