Hurricane conditions are expected to start impacting the Mississippi Gulf Coast later today, with Tropical Storm Sally projected to strengthen into a Category 1 or 2 Hurricane, likely making landfall in Biloxi late Tuesday or early Wednesday with 85-90 mph winds.
Hancock County is still under a Hurricane Warning, as are Harrison, Pearl River and Jackson counties.
The Hancock County Emergency Management Agency — in coordination with the Hancock County Board of Supervisors, and Cities of Bay St. Louis, Diamondhead, and Waveland — issued a mandatory evacuation beginning Monday at 7 a.m. for low lying areas, residents living on rivers, river inlets, bayous, creeks, and in travel trailers, modular homes, mobile homes, homes under construction and or partially constructed homes.
The EMA also opened the storm shelter at 18320 Hwy. 43 in Kiln on Monday. Those seeking refuge at the shelter were asked to bring all items to be self-contained (bedding, medications, personal hygiene items, drinks and snacks). Pets will not be allowed in the General Population Shelters. For further information, contact the Hancock County Emergency Management Agency at 228-255-0942.
Street flooding had already begun in Garden Isles on Monday morning.
According to the National Weather Service, a Flood Warning for the Jourdan River near Kiln and Bay St. Louis is in effect from late Tuesday morning until late Wednesday night.
As of 8:30 a.m. Monday, the river stage was 4.1 feet, according to the NWS. Flood stage is six feet.
“The river is expected to rise above flood stage tomorrow morning to a crest of 9.5 feet tomorrow evening,” according to the NWS. “It will then fall below flood stage late Wednesday evening. * Impact...At 8.0 feet, The River Dock Restraunt will flood. Drainage ditches along Mississippi Highway 43 will be running full and near the shoulder of the road at the bridge approach. Water will cover most of the River Dock property and residential property on the south bank. * Impact... At 10.0 feet, Homes along the river on the south bank will flood. Water will be over the road near the bridge approach. Backwater flooding will threaten property east of Highway 43. Access to the river will be restricted.”
“Sally is expected to be a slow moving system as it approaches land, producing 8 to 16 inches of rainfall with isolated amounts of 24 inches over portions of the central Gulf Coast from the western Florida Panhandle to far southeast Louisiana through the middle of the week,” according to the National Hurricane Center. “Life-threatening flash flooding is likely. In addition, this rainfall will likely lead to widespread minor to isolated major flooding on area rivers.”
Data from an Air Force Reserve Hurricane Hunter aircraft indicated that the center of Sally has reformed to the east of the previous estimated location, according to the National Hurricane Center.
“The center of Tropical Storm Sally was located near latitude 28.4 North, longitude 86.9 West,” according to the NHC’s 10 a.m. update. “Sally is moving toward the west-northwest near 6 mph. This general motion is expected to continue today, followed by a decrease in forward speed and a turn toward the northwest tonight and a northward turn sometime on Tuesday. On the
forecast track, the center of Sally will move over the north-central Gulf of Mexico today, approach southeastern Louisiana tonight, and make landfall in the hurricane warning area on Tuesday or Tuesday night. Afterward, Sally is expected to move slowly north- northeastward near the northern Gulf Coast through Wednesday.”