Hurricane Harvey preparations underway on the Gulf Coast

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From WWAY sister station – WXXV in Gulfport, MS  (Payton Malone)

Evacuations are underway for parts of Texas as Hurricane Harvey turns in the Gulf of Mexico. While the tropical system is hundreds of miles away from South Mississippi, people are still preparing for effects of the storm.

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All eyes are on Hurricane Harvey as it churns in the Gulf of Mexico, the last time a major hurricane hit the United States was during Hurricane Wilma back in 2005. While Harvey is expected to make landfall in Texas, South Mississippi Emergency Management officials say the Mississippi Gulf Coast will also be affected in the wake of the hurricane over the weekend and early next week.

Harrison County EMA Director Rupert Lacy said, “The rainfall totals are still estimated in the neighborhood of six plus inches. This is a very fluid situation. We may see those values go up a little bit more like they did two days ago, but we want residents to prepare for whatever rain event we have.”

Harvey is forecasted to make landfall in Texas as a major hurricane with winds over 100 miles per hours. In South Mississippi, heavy rainfall is expected to be the primary concern.

“Any rain that does fall and especially heavy showers is going to cause possible flooding issues for people, possible issues for traveling,” said Lacy.

While Texas is expected to take the brunt of Hurricane Harvey, South Mississippians are also bracing for the storm, as evidenced at the sand bag distribution sites. Coast residents say they’re not taking any chances after the record breaking rainfall South Mississippi has seen this year.

Long Beach Resident Vincent Ruddy said, “We’ll get some sandbags and take precautions. If it gets this way, we are ready. If not, no harm done.”

From Texas to Mississippi, residents are hoping for the best, but preparing for the worst as the first major hurricane to slam into the United States over a decade moves in.