Warren County area to get high winds, rain from Hurricane Ida

Published 4:41 pm Friday, August 27, 2021

Warren County residents can expect winds in excess of 30 mph and 5 to 8 inches of rain as Hurricane Ida makes landfall somewhere along the Louisiana/Mississippi Gulf Coast Sunday afternoon or early Monday, according to information from the National Weather Service Office in Jackson.

As of 4 p.m. Friday, Ida, which formed in the Caribbean last week, had maximum sustained winds clocked at 80 mph. It is forecast to possibly be a weak Category 3 storm with winds of 111 mph or higher when it makes landfall.

Projections from the National Hurricane Center in Miami, Fla., indicate Ida will make landfall along the Louisiana coast south of New Orleans, La., and then move northeast, passing east of Vicksburg. A hurricane watch has been issued for an area from Cameron, La. to the Mississippi/Alabama border and includes New Orleans.

Locally, the main impact will be local flooding and wind, said National Weather Service meteorologist Ashlyn Jackson.

 “Central to Northeast Mississippi will have a limited threat with 30 to 45 mph winds with downed trees and power lines and maybe isolated outages depending on how gusty the winds get,” Jackson said.

She said a total of 6 to 10 inches of rain is expected over the area during the next five days with the possibility of 5 to 8 inches falling as the storm pushes inland.

Warren County Emergency Management Director John Elfer said one of the storm models presented during a National Weather Service briefing indicated the potential for 60 mph winds in the area. Also, he said, there is the possibility for “pop-up” tornadoes as the storm passes through.

“People need to start getting ready,” he said. “They need to make sure they’ve got enough food and water to last 72 hours. If they’ve got a generator, they need to make sure it’s properly plugged in and well-vented to prevent carbon monoxide (exposure). It’s not a bad idea to get cash and make sure they have all their medicines.

“Don’t wait until the last minute, because people will be panic-buying and there won’t be anything left in the stores,” he said.

The most important thing, Elfer said, is people need to make sure they have a way to get emergency alerts, whether through Code Red or weather apps on their cell phones or NOAA Weather Radio.

“They need to pay attention,” he said. “I talked to some people today who had no idea we’re going to get a storm late this weekend and early into next week.”

Elfer also said people need to prepare a survival kit that can allow them to go up to 48 hours without outside assistance.

The Mississippi Emergency Management Agency’s website offers some suggestions for a survival kit:

• Flashlight(s) with extra batteries.

• A portable radio with extra batteries.

• A NOAA Weather Radio.

• Non-perishable food for at least three days.

• Bottled water (1 gallon per person per day).

• First Aid Kit with prescription medications.

• Bedding and clothing for each family member.

• Blankets and towels

• Plastic dishes and eating utensils.

• Rain jackets and pants.

• Sunscreen, sunglasses and mosquito repellent.

• Baby supplies like food, diapers and medication.

• Pet supplies such as food, leash and carrier, and vaccination records.

• Sanitary supplies.

• Toothbrush, toothpaste, soap, shampoo, cleanser, bleach, sanitary wipes, toilet paper, trash bags.

• Feminine hygiene products.

• Copies of important documents.

• Driver’s license, Social Security card, proof of residence, insurance policies, wills, deeds, birth and marriage certificates, tax records, medical records and family pictures.

• Enough cash to fill up a vehicle with gas, and traveler’s checks.

• An emergency generator.

• A bicycle helmet.

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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