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EMA officials remain on alert as Hurricane Sally tracks eastward
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Map of Hurricane Sally
NOAA

Emergency management officials remain on high alert in southern Mississippi, despite Hurricane Sally’s predicted eastward momentum.

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Two emergency shelters are open in Jackson County for people to escape the rising waters and high winds from Hurricane Sally. Earl Etheridge is Director of Jackson County Emergency Management Services. He says they aren’t letting their guard down even though the hurricane seems to be churning towards the Mississippi Alabama state line.

“The county has a number of high water rescue assets between high water rescue trucks and shallow draft rescue boats we do have our teams stationed throughout the county for that. The Department of Marine Resources has four strike teams that are available here to the county to assist us if needed for water rescues,” said Etheridge.

Rupert Lacy with the Harrison County Emergency Management Agency calls Hurricane Sally a water event. He says the storm is moving two miles per hour, which means it’s expected to dump large amounts of rain and cause high storm surges. Lacy says that is a concern because of the waterfront properties in the county.

You know a 26 mile sand beach. We have two bays. Those bays wrap around what I like to refer back to as the big island and then we’ve got rivers we have to worry about in the east, the central and the west part of the county,” said Lacy.

Because the storm is moving so slowly, Nancy Smith with George County Emergency Management says she hopes people don’t become complacent.

“Pay attention to the weather. Pay attention to last minute changes in the weather and when we start to see conditions deteriorate please be in your safe spots, stay off the roads, and have everything prepared,” said Smith.

Shelters are open in coastal communities but capacity is limited due to the coronavirus. Officials say some people are staying with family, friends or in hotels.