Isaac brought wind, rain problems

Published 11:45 am Friday, August 31, 2012

Early Thursday, emergency response officials were reporting only wind and some rains problems resulting from Hurricane Isaac’s arrival in Pearl River County.

Danny Manley said 60 people were being sheltered in two of the shelters in the county, the Poplarville First Baptist Church and Manna Ministries in Picayune. He said they are not seeing many people from Hancock or Harrison counties on the coast. He said normally there would be 50 or 60 people from each of those counties, and he thinks some of the new shelters planned in those counties have changed that.

That has “greatly relieved us,” he said.

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“We had a half dozen from Harrison County and roughly the same from Hancock County. The rest of our shelter residents have been from Pearl River County – we are sheltering zero Louisiana residents, which is extraordinary. That’s never been the case.”

He said in the past there had been about 90-percent of shelter residents from Louisiana.

He said Tuesday evening the county’s emergency responders had gone into response mode to deal with any issue which might rise.

“Those guys are highly trained in Pearl River County and they do a great job,” he said. “We have had no issues where people have been overwhelmed … no injuries. We have had downed trees, power lines. Power companies are doing their best to get the power restored.”

He said they were hampered by high winds at times. “You just can’t get in a bucket truck and hold a cable when the winds are blowing 30-40 miles an hour.”

“It’s a constant battle.”

He said all the emergency support functions have been staffed at the EOC supplemented by county employees from other offices that are closed for the storm.

Poplarville Fire Chief Michael White said Wednesday morning that the only problems to that time had been from some wind with limbs and rain but there had been nothing major.

Manley said officially “this storm has not cooperated with anything that has been predicted, to this point.”

He cautioned, though, that the storm could stop at any time and continue to dump rain. “The hope is this thing should be out of here by seven or eight this evening … but if it doesn’t cooperate… .”

He advised for people with Internet capability that updates will be posted on the emergency management Facebook page every four hours. He particularly urged people to use that route if possible to limit EOC staff having to answer the telephones.

Mitchell said he estimated that 25 to 30 trees have been downed near roads in the county. He said there were six county crews able to respond to reports of trees on roads.

Manley said there had been approximately 5,000 sandbags handed out and there were 1,700 still available with another 10,000 bags scheduled to arrive.