Barbour: ‘Don't Let Your Guard Down Yet' | Jackson Free Press | Jackson, MS

Barbour: ‘Don't Let Your Guard Down Yet'

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Hurricane Gustav

Also see: Jackpedia: Hurricane Gustav to get/post vital information.

Soon after Hurricane Gustav made landfall in Houma, La., Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour appeared at MEMA headquarters to warn state residents that the dangers have not passed. "Don't think the storm is over," Barbour said. " ... Don't let your guard down, yet. Barbour reminded residents that 30 percent of Mississippi fatalities during Hurricane Katrina did not happen in Coast counties; in most cases, he said, wind blew down trees that hit houses and cars. "That kind of stuff is still happening in Mississippi right now," he warned.

So far, though, no Gustav-related injuries are reported. In Kilm, the fire department rescued three people from the water, he said.

Barbour addressed power outages on the Coast, saying that Mississippi Power reported more than 11,000 without power and Coast Electric more than 3,000. No reports from Singing River, yet, he saidd. Winds are still high, though, so there could be more power outage, "but we don't anticipate anything like Katrina when every customer lost power," he said.

Tornado watches and warnings have been in place throughout the day, including in the Jackson area, but Barbour said he had no knowledge of any tornado damage or injuries, yet. But with 9-foot storm surges in Hancock County, he warned that a lot of homes and businesses will have water in them.

But residents should not rush home to check on their property—certainly noto before Tuesday, he said, due to the ongoing dangers from the storm and related tornadoes and flooding. "Not now," he said is the answer to when to return home. "There is still a lot of bad weather on Coast; the storm surge is very near its height. ... Check with local officials. ... People ought to think that tomorrow is going to be the first day to think about going home."

"People don't need to rush back. There are roads that are flooded. Roads may have collapses in them." Thus, he said, residents could "run off the road and kill selves."

Barbour addressed the shelter question, saying that 106 shelters are n ow open and currently sheltering 13,584 evcuees, including a special-needs shelter at Hinds Community College with 130 special-needs patients from Mississippi. In addition, two special-needs facilities opened—one at Hudspeth Mental Health and other at Jackson State University—to care for patients from Louisiana nursing homes.

The Mississippi Department of Education, he said, performed an outstanding job to evacuate people to Jackson from Coast on school buses: The plan was "extremely, extremely well executed," he said. The buses found fewer people than they expected when they arrived on the Coast late Friday afternoon, bringing about 500 people and some pets back to the Mississippi Coliseum, where 1,500 beds were reserved for them until the buses arrived later last night.

Barbour said he is not aware of any reports of arrests for looting or illegal conduct related to the storm. "We do have a lot of law enforcement and National Guard -- some withdrew inside at peak of storm," he said. As for search-and-rescue personnel: "By God's grace so far, we haven't had to use any of them in Mississippi," he said.

He said that the 211 service "worked very well," but it did get overloaded; then MEMA forwarded calls to the MEMA call center.

All school districts on the Coast are closed Tuesday, he said, but was not sure whether other districts had closed. He advised watching local media for updates.

Several flights on Delta, Southwest and U.S. Air out of Jackson have been cancelled; check with the airlines for more details.

The Jackson Free Press is posting all closing/cancellation information here as it comes in.

Previous Comments

ID
134845
Comment

Here's an update on the Industrial Canal in New Orleans. So far, so good. Keep praying.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2008-09-01T11:01:34-06:00
ID
134846
Comment

The Sun-Herald is reporting that due to fool sightseers (our word) driving on flooded streets and getting tuck, they have enacted a curfew on the streets there until Tuesday. Many streets and bridges are flooded all along the Coast. Moral: Don't be an idiot.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2008-09-01T11:04:02-06:00
ID
134847
Comment

MEMA reiterates Barbour's warning: Don't go home: Sept. 1, 2008 Coastal residents urged to wait to return home for a few days PEARL – Road conditions will be improving as the storm moves out of your home area. Residents that have been evacuated are encouraged not to return to their homes for at least three days. Weather conditions may have improved, but downed trees and power lines may still pose a severe risk to residents. Power outages may be ongoing and it will take some time to restore your area’s infrastructure as it may be severely compromised. Telephone service may be interrupted as well as cell towers. Food, supplies, or gas may not be available if you return to your home too soon. Please listen to local news for updates regarding conditions in your home area. For more information call MEMA’s Public Information Line at 866-519-MEMA or the Media line at 866-920-MEMA or visit www.msema.org. ###

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2008-09-01T11:08:44-06:00
ID
134848
Comment

Entergy is warning not to touch any piles of debris or downed power lines before they could still be live.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2008-09-01T11:09:49-06:00
ID
134849
Comment

BTW, all, please help us track closings and cancellations here. You add them yourself. Here's the master index page for the Hurricane Gustav wiki on Jackpedia.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2008-09-01T11:18:34-06:00
ID
134850
Comment

WAPT is reporting that 82 percent of oil production in the Gulf has been shut down, and 72 percent of the oil platforms.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2008-09-01T11:21:01-06:00

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