Hurricane Harvey isn’t just impacting residents of Texas. The massive hurricane will also impact residents in the other states along the Gulf Coast. That includes residents in Biloxi, Mississippi.
Harvey is expected to make landfall in Texas as a Category 3 storm between late Friday night and early Saturday morning. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is predicting rainfall at around 35 inches in isolated areas of the middle and upper Texas coast. Most areas will see rain between 15 to 25 inches. Peak winds are expected to reach 85 mph in Texas. However, the rainfall total is not expected to reach that level in South Mississippi.
WXLOX meteorologists predicts that Biloxi will see heavy downpours throughout the weekend. Even though the system will be moving far away from South Mississippi, residents should expect heavy rain from the outer bans, but WXLOX is only predicting 3 to 5 inches of rain from Harvey.
The Sun Herald points out that officials can’t be certain about Harvey’s full impact on South Mississippi because its track could be erratic once it makes landfall. Harrison County Emergency Manager Rupert Lacy told the Sun Herald that the precipitation totals could double if there is a “prolonged rain ban” once Harvey reaches land.
“The track for the next two days is pretty solid — it’s headed over South Texas, but we’re not certain what is going to happen after it makes landfall,” Alek Krautmann, a meteorologist with the NWS New Orleans, told the Sun Herald. “Once it stalls over Texas, it could become erratic and move back into the Gulf, so it’s something we will be continually monitoring.”
The Biloxi city government announced that free, self-serve sand bag locations have already been set up at Todd Migues Ball Park, 425 Parker St.; Popp’s Ferry Soccer Fields, 2150 Popp’s Ferry Road, across from Margaret Sherry Library; and Biloxi Fire Station 8, 8479 Woolmarket Road.
“There’s no reason to be alarmed. We are advising the public to take the same steps that we are taking, to make preparations based on the forecasts we are providing, and continue to monitor weather reports,” Biloxi Emergency Manager Michelle Crowley said in a statement on August 23.
Nearby Jackson County has already declared a state of emergency, Gulf Live reports. Jackson County Emergency Service Director Earl Etheridge told the site the declaration allowed the county to hand out sand and sandbags to residents.
“That puts an impact on us Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday,” Etheridge told Gulf Live. “It it happens, it’ll primarily be a rain event. The $400 question is how much rain will we get? Look at this summer. How many thunderstorms have we seen that produced 3-4 inches of rain. And those were just thunderstorms, not a system.”
The National Weather Service is also predicting rain through Thursday in Biloxi. “A 50 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 88. East wind 5 to 10 mph. New rainfall amounts between a tenth and quarter of an inch, except higher amounts possible in thunderstorms,” the NWS forecast for Saturday reads.
The NWS forecast for Sunday is, “A 50 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 86. Northeast wind around 10 mph.”