The Jackson County Board of Supervisors will close all County offices on Tuesday, Sept. 2 as a safety precaution for Hurricane Gustav. This closure also includes the entire court system. County employees should check in with department heads and managers after the severe weather has passed by phone or texting. The County will return to normal operating hours on Wednesday, Sept. 3.
A Mandatory Evacuation is still in effect for all Jackson County residents living in low-lying areas, mobile homes, MEMA Cottages, Katrina Cottages and FEMA travel trailers in advance of forecasted tropical storm force winds from Hurricane Gustav.
The County and the American Red Cross have officially opened four shelters. At this time the local Red Cross is reporting 889 citizens have checked into a County shelter. Residents planning to go to a shelter should leave immediately before weather conditions worsen. Residents should bring medication, sleeping gear, and a change of clothes. Review Red Cross guidelines. The shelters are below:
The County has opened 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 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.
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:
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
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
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.