City, county prepping for arrival of Gordon

Published 7:26 pm Tuesday, September 4, 2018

City and county officials are taking steps to prepare for problems in advance of the arrival of Hurricane Gordon.

“It’s going to be a moderate risk for flooding and some heavy rain, and a lower end risk for (high) wind and a lower risk for tornadoes, but you can’t rule that out,” Warren County Emergency Management director John Elfer said. “It’s not going to be a Hurricane Katrina, but people still need to pay attention and not be complacent.”

The storm was expected to make landfall sometime Tuesday night. Elfer said the area should begin seeing heavy rain and feeder bands by early morning.  He said predicted rainfall totals ranging from 1.5 to 6 inches of rain during the storm.

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The National Weather Service in Jackson predicts winds reaching 25-35 mph in central Mississippi.

“We are prepositioning some (county) road department equipment to handle any flooding issues or downed trees blocking roads, and we’ve met with first responder agencies and the city,” Elfer said.

Gordon has forced at lease one closure. The Vicksburg National Military Park will be closed Wednesday because the threat. Vicksburg Warren School District spokeswoman Christi Kilroy said county public schools will be open Wednesday, adding, “We will be keeping an eye in things and will make any decisions based on the conditions.”

North Ward Aldermen Michael Mayfield, who is over the city’s public works department, said crews were out checking the city’s storm drains. He said a weekend storm Sunday hit the city with high winds, knocking down tree limbs, branches and leaves, which could clog the city’s drainage system.

He said the city has program to check drainage in low-level areas of the city, and removed rubbish from city streets.

“We are also checking some areas where we feel there may be a problem,” said, adding crews begain their work early Tuesday morning. “We will be as prepared as we can be.”

According to information from Entergy, company and contract crews are moving to areas to be ready to handle problems from the storm, and additional employees are in standby.

“We’re monitoring this storm and following a very detailed, rehearsed plan of action. We urge our customers to have a plan as well,” said Haley Fisackerly, Entergy Mississippi president and CEO. “Safety is our number one goal for both customers and our workers. As soon as it is safe, we’ll begin restoring service.”

About John Surratt

John Surratt is a graduate of Louisiana State University with a degree in general studies. He has worked as an editor, reporter and photographer for newspapers in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama. He has been a member of The Vicksburg Post staff since 2011 and covers city government. He and his wife attend St. Paul Catholic Church and he is a member of the Port City Kiwanis Club.

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