Saturday morning, Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant declared a State of Emergency for Tropical Storm Barry. A State of Emergency is an administrative tool that authorizes the use of state resources to aid in response and recovery efforts.
A tropical storm watch and a storm surge warning are in effect for the Mississippi Gulf Coast, as Barry is expected to make landfall near Saturday morning.
A flash flood warning remains in effect for Harrison County. A flash flood can leave parts of the roadways in Harrison County covered with water. A river flood warning has been issued for Harrison County. The Wolf River is expected to crest at 11 feet.
The flooding warnings could create situations that are hazardous and potentially deadly for motorists.
The Harrison County Road Department has trucks loaded with barricades to place on Harrison County roads should they flood. Harrison County Sheriff Troy Peterson said motorists should pay attention to these areas.
“Our deputies will be out and they will write citations if drivers go around barricaded roadways,” Peterson said. “We want everyone to drive safely and remember to turn around and don’t drown.”
Harrison County Emergency Management Director Rupert Lacy said Harrison County should prepare for a long rain event.
“The feeder bands associated with Tropical Storm Barry are moving into Harrison County, bringing rain, winds with gusts of more than 20 mph and possible severe thunderstorms,” Lacy said. “This is going to be a marathon rain event, not a sprint. Harrison County residents and our visitors should remain vigilant and use caution when outside and when driving.”
Following the declaration, the State Emergency Operations Center is now activated. The Mississippi Emergency Management Agency will continue to monitor conditions and coordinate requests for resources from counties.