by Hunter Dawkins

Due to the upcoming weather and storm surge from Tropical Storm Sally; which is expected to become a hurricane overnight, multiple Mississippi Gulf Coast municipalities have called for a mandatory evacuation from the harbors for boats and businesses.

“We’re just trying to get prepared with packing things up, which is all that you can do with these storms,” said Jeremy Forte; co-owner of Forte Seafood, a small business in the East Pass Christian Harbor.  “Get everything moved out and are taking precautions, should get everything moved out by this afternoon.  We had a bunch of product come in yesterday, luckily we got everything on the factory truck, shipped everything out, and most of the boats will now go back in the Discovery Bay or Bayou Portage.”

According to the Harrison County Emergency Operation Control report, new storm surge projections of 7-11 feet are estimated with high tide and wave action.  All Harbors and Highway 90 will be impassable as this system heads towards the Mississippi Gulf Coast Monday evening.

All of the cities in West Harrison County have issued mandatory vessel evacuations: Long Beach, Gulfport, Pass Christian.  With the anticipation of a high storm surge, Long Beach issued a mandatory boat evacuation Saturday at 3pm first from the Long Beach Harbor starting Sunday, September 13th at 7 a.m. with the essential workers locking the doors and gates at sunset, according to the city Harbormaster Bill Angley.

Additionally Saturday afternoon,  the Pass Christian Board of Alderman declared a local emergency in preparation for the storm surge . Although subject to change, Tropical Storm Sally is expected to reach the Mississippi Gulf Coast on or around September 15th.

Harrison County has numerous self-serve sandbag locations; including the Lyman Work Center off County Farm Road in Gulfport, the Long Beach Work Center on Seal Avenue, and the Orange Grove Work Center off 34th Avenue.