Fay may be coming our way

Published 9:41 pm Friday, August 22, 2008

Preliminary weather predictions show that the remnants of Tropical Storm Fay may head to the Mississippi Gulf Coast, possibly bringing heavy rains and some gusting winds to Pearl River County.

While the situation currently does not reflect the possibility of any damage on the scale of Hurricane Katrina, emergency county and city personnel are preparing for the possibility of some isolated flooding in flood prone areas and power outages.

Generators are being prepared while city employees and county volunteer fire departments are preparing for the possible need to distribute sand bags.

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A conference call between the National Weather Service in Slidell, La., and City of Picayune officials Friday morning described the possibility of Fay, now a tropical storm, putting anywhere between four and eight inches of rain and 20 to 35 mile per hour winds in the area Sunday or Monday, said Frank Revette with the National Weather Service.

Friday afternoon, Emergency Management Director Danny Manley said the county could expect less rain, between two and four inches. Since the storm is a couple days away from the county and weather conditions dealing with the storm are changing constantly, there is the possibility the storm will pose little to no threat to the county.

If Fay stays on her current course, Pearl River County is expected to experience effects either Sunday afternoon or Monday morning. Friday afternoon, Fay was moving westward at about six miles per hour with sustained winds of 45 miles per hour.

Revette said the severity of the storm would depend on whether the storm enters the Gulf of Mexico again or if it stays on land. If the storm moves into the gulf, then the severity of the winds and rain would most likely increase, he said.

Another meeting will be held Saturday morning to present an update on the status on the storm, Fire Chief Keith Brown said.

In October of last year, a substantial rain in the city caused more than 100 homes to flood, said Public Works Director Chad Frierson. Brown expects that if the area receives five inches or more of rain in a two-hour span, flooding would probably occur.