Ike pushes water onto some areas of Miss. coast

Published 1:43 pm Friday, September 12, 2008

Unusually high tides whipped up by Hurricane Ike flooded some streets and yards in low areas along the Mississippi Gulf Coast on Thursday.

The Mississippi Emergency Management Agency said the flooding is again threatening to enter some Katrina cottages.

Katherine Crowell, a MEMA spokeswoman, said the high tides were expected to peak during the midmorning hours Friday.

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A number of the cottages, designed to provide safer and more permanent living accommodations than FEMA trailers for families who lost their homes in Hurricane Katrina, were flooded when Hurricane Gustav’s storm surge pushed into low areas and backed into rivers and streams Sept. 1.

“This is not a mandatory evacuation but we’re encouraging them to do so,” Crowell said. “People who had flooding during Gustav may expect flooding from Ike also.”

MEMA officials said they did not expect problems from Ike’s winds as it pushed westward in the Gulf, heading for a weekend landfall along the Texas coast.

A tropical storm warning was extended Thursday to include the Mississippi-Alabama border and westward to areas east of Cameron, La. A hurricane watch was in effect from Cameron to Port Mansfield, Texas.

Bobby Weaver, a spokesman for the Harrison County Emergency Operations Center, said the weather service had told coast officials to expect winds in the 20 to 30 mph range and an inch or so of rain.

He said Ike would keep water levels high until it pushed far enough to the west Friday to allow the wind to diminish.

Weaver said emergency officials were making arrangements to open a shelter Thursday night for those unable to return to their homes who are not staying with friends or relatives.

In the wake of Gustav, Gov. Haley Barbour requested that a number of south Mississippi counties be declared eligible for federal assistance. That request is pending.