The National Hurricane Center has canceled the tropical storm warning for the Gulf Coast, as Tropical Storm 10, which never strengthened past 35 mph winds, came ashore near Fort Walton Beach.
At 7 p.m., the center of TD 10 was near latitude 30.4 north, longitude 86.7 west, moving toward the northwest near 9 mph with gradual weakening expected. The National Hurricane Center issued its last report on TD 10 in their 10 p.m. advisory.
Throughout the Coast, emergency management workers prepared for the storm that never came. Harrison County officials now see the preparations as a dry run on some new procedures and are relieved that the storm went ashore well away from the Mississippi Coast. The whole process was expensive for local governments and businesses as rapid preparations were implemented during the afternoon as Tropical Depression 10 was forecast to strengthen to a tropical storm before making landfall. Employees were redirected to storm tasks, company employees took time off to get their homes ready, and closures and cancellations of activities, such as area Friday night football games were cancelled. County and city officials throughout the area called for shelters to open and people in low lying areas and the numerous FEMA trailers to evacuate.
As of 10:13 p.m. there has been no word on whether the Gulf Park campus
of the University of Southern Mississippi will hold their Saturday classes.
The storm had prompted the university to cancel classes when it appeared the
storm system was on its way here.
Earlier Friday, when the threat seemed eminent, Biloxi Public Works staffers were following the departmentís storm plan, fueling and testing vehicles, portable generators and water well motors, as well as vacuuming storm drains susceptible to flooding. To see photos of the workers in action, click here.