3 gulf states tweak hurricane evacuation plans

Published 8:34 pm Thursday, April 30, 2009

Alabama and Louisiana coastal residents fleeing future hurricanes will have to travel farther north along Mississippi highways before exiting.

Changes were announced Thursday during the Gulf States Hurricane Conference in Biloxi.

Transportation officials from Mississippi, Louisiana and Alabama say contraflow and evacuation plans have improved since Hurricane Katrina in 2005, but they still need work.

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Beginning this year, exits on Interstate 59 in Mississippi will be closed until Purvis, which is about 34 miles further north.

Mississippi officials say exits on Interstate 55 will be closed until motorists get to Brookhaven, which is about 31 miles further than in previous years.