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Jackson County Issues Mandatory Evacuation for Sunday

From: Jackson County OEC News Release  Filed 8/30/08 GCN

Jackson County’s Emergency Management Office has taken several major precautionary steps today (Aug. 30) in advance of severe weather and high winds from Hurricane Gustav, including:

  • The County is calling for a “Mandatory Evacuation” for all residents living in low-lying areas, mobile homes, MEMA Cottages, and FEMA travel trailers in advance of tropical storm force winds by 8 a.m. Sunday morning (Aug. 31). Travel trailers and mobile homes present serious safety hazards to occupants during high winds. Evacuation is the safest thing residents can do to protect themselves in case of a major storm.

    Residents should be completing departure plans NOW and sharing that information with family, employers, and neighbors. Drivers should also be aware, the State of Louisiana will begin “contra-flow” Sunday morning at 4 a.m. This Louisiana evacuation is expected to lead to more road congestion traveling both north and east through Mississippi. All motorists should use caution on the roadways.

·       The County and the American Red Cross are opening the following Emergency Shelters at 5 p.m. Sunday afternoon. (Residents going to a shelter should bring medication, sleeping gear, and a change of clothes. Review Red Cross guidelines.)  

o      East Central Community Center (Special Medical Needs-1 p.m.)- 4300 Hwy. 614

o      East Central High School- 21700 Slider Rd. off Hwy. 614

o      St. Martin East Elementary- 7508 Rose Farm Rd.

o      Vancleave High School- 12412 Hwy. 57

  • The County is preparing to begin its free van service for residents who need help evacuating to a shelter.  Residents can still register by calling 228-769-5870. County vans will start picking up registered residents at their homes on Sunday afternoon. Each bus will take residents to a Red Cross shelter inside of Jackson County. Pack only the essentials; there is a two bag limit per rider.
  • The County is opening an “Animal Evacuation Shelter” for small to medium size domesticated pets (cats, dogs, gerbils.) No exotic animals (snakes, monkeys, etc.) can be accepted. This shelter is only for residents staying at a local Red Cross Shelter. Pets must be inside of a safe travel kennel and have proof of shots. The Animal Shelter’s staff will pick-up all pets from the Red Cross Shelter. Owners can’t stay with their pets at the animal shelter. The Animal Evacuation Shelters will open at 5 p.m. and will be staffed by trained county personnel.  

The County remains under a Proclamation of Local Emergency. The Board of Supervisors has closed the Ocean Springs Harbor to all “transient vessels and boats” until the threat of Gustav subsides. All current boat owners with valid “Slip Lease Agreements” can continue to dock their boats at the Harbor.

The County is still offering free sand bags (self serve) at the following 10 locations:

East Side

o      Forts Lake Fire Dept. on Forts Lake Rd.

o      Three Rivers Fire Dept. on Hwy. 63

o      East Road Dept. on Hwy. 63 in Escatawpa

o      East Central Community Center on Hwy. 614

Central

o      St. Andrews Fire Dept. on Elm St.

o      Fontainebleau Fire Dept. on Hwy. 57 (south)

o      Central Road Dept. on Hwy. 57 in Vancleave

West Side

o      West JC Fire Dept. on Big Ridge Rd.

o      Latimer Community Center on Daisy Vestry Rd.

o      West Road Dept. on N. Washington Ave. in St. Martin.

As a precaution, the County will staff the Emergency Management Office, Ocean Springs Harbor Office and Public Information Office throughout the weekend.

All official County announcements and news releases will come from the County’s Emergency Management Office and/or Public Information Office. All pre-storm updates will also be posted on the County’s website for verification.

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