Tropical-storm-force winds expected in Miss-LouPublished 3:30pm Monday, August 27, 2012
NATCHEZ — When the full thrust of Hurricane Isaac makes landfall on the Gulf Coast at approximately 7 p.m. Tuesday, the Miss-Lou will already be receiving some of the outer rainfall associated with it.
When the storm itself reaches the Miss-Lou, it is expected to still be tropical-storm strength, Adams County Emergency Director Stan Owens said at a pre-storm emergency briefing of county, city, educational and utility officials Monday afternoon.
“They are putting us in the 70 percent chance of tropical-storm-force winds, and they are talking about us getting gusts of wind up to 70 miles and hour,” Owens said.
Tropical-storm-force winds are at least 35 miles per hour.
The biggest concerns associated with the storm are the wind and rain, with the area expected to receive between two and two-and-a-half inches of rainfall, Owens said.
“With that much rain we are going to see some power loss, and we are going to see some trees come down,” he said.
Local hotel occupancy is already at 99 percent, Owens said, but the county is not at this time anticipating an evacuation shelter. That’s because Adams County is in the direct path of the storm, he said.
“We are in the sights of the storm,” he said. “We don’t want to put resources to protecting people from out of town when we need to be protecting ourselves.”
Evacuees are advised to go “way east or way west of Natchez,” Owens said.
“(Isaac) is a pretty large storm, and it is reaching pretty far out,” he said.
“If it moves any it will be to the west, which puts us on the evil side of the storm.”
The eastern side of hurricanes and tropical storms often throw off tornadoes.
When Adams County Supervisors President Darryl Grennell asked if residents in mobile homes would have to evacuate, as they did during Hurricane Gustav, Owens said that decision would be made as more information about the storm came available.
Sheriff Chuck Mayfield said the county is not currently considering issuing a curfew for the storm event, and Owens said he did not see a need for such an order as long as the storm’s sustained winds were below hurricane levels.