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October 4, 2013

South Mississippi Ramps Up Preparations As Tropical Storm Karen Slows

BILOXI —

Tropical Storm Karen has slowed according to the most recent weather alerts, but Coast authorities are still ramping up their storm preparations.

Friday morning Pascagoula Mayor Harry Blevins issued a declaration of emergency withKaren continuing to move north through the Gulf of Mexico.

Blevins declared that "the city shall exercise all powers and authority granted to it under the Mississippi Emergency Management Law to deal with such emergency."

A release from Biloxi said council members are also expected to follow suit when they meet at 9:30 a.m.

Hurry up and wait

Harrison County Director of Emergency Management Rupert Lacy said they're taking a hurry up and wait approach to the storm and have a meeting scheduled for 11 a.m. to update authorities on the status of the storm.

"It has slowed down and that's always something that bothers us because that gives it the opportunity to regenerate and shows a changing of track," he said. "The wildcard of this storm is we've got to see where the cold front is. If the cold front gets here quicker it could push it off to the east. If it doesn't, that means it has an opportunity to sit down there and do its thing and then we're not really sure what's going on."

In preparation, Lacy said they have self-serve sandbag locations set up in Gulfport and at various public works departments in the county.

"We're just watching (the storm) and just trying to keep an eye on it," he said. "Just hurrying up and waiting."

Ocean Springs Harbormaster Bill Richmond said no boaters have been told to evacuate and like Harrison County officials, they're still taking a wait and see approach.

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