Schools, city prepare for Ida

Published 1:53 pm Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Residents of Pearl River and Hancock Counties should be prepared for the effects of what was Hurricane Ida, which at press time was classified as a tropical storm.

Picayune, Pearl River County and Hancock County schools are preparing for the storm, with closures so far reported only in Hancock County for Monday afternoon. Currently school is planned to take place as scheduled in all districts on Tuesday.

Picayune and Pearl River County schools planed to hold classes Tuesday, said Picayune Supt. Dean Shaw and Pearl River County Supt. Dennis Penton. Hancock County School District Public Relations Director Cathy Wilson said Hancock County Schools held a 60 percent day Monday. Plans for Tuesday are to have school unless the storm changes its path.

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Poplarville School District Supt. Carl Merritt said so far school functions in the city are expected to take place as normal. He said he has been in contact with the county’s Emergency Management Office and indications at press time were that the area would receive some rain and some wind gusts. Unless the storm changes course or severity, school in Poplarville will take place as normal on Tuesday.

All local school districts said they will be monitoring the storm’s path and plan accordingly but all, including Hancock, plan to hold school on Tuesday.

Picayune’s Fire Department is not expecting any flooding from the storm but is preparing to distribute sand bags if they are needed. Fire Chief Keith Brown said the sand bags are ready to go, but will be distributed only if there is a need.

A meeting held with local officials and the National Weather Service on Monday reported to Brown that Pearl River County might see some effects of Ida, but nothing major.

Other efforts city-wide will be to ensure staff are prepared, drains are cleaned out and shutters are put on city hall.

“Everything’s good to go and we’re getting geared up in case it does turn,” Brown said.

All school officials in all districts ask parents to stay updated through the local media, including radio and television, in case the current plan to keep schools open on Tuesday changes.