MEMA officials urge residents to prepare for Tropical Storm Lee - MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS

MEMA officials urge residents to prepare for Tropical Storm Lee

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JACKSON, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

Governor Haley Barbour has declared a state of emergency for seven south Mississippi counties as Tropical Storm Lee approaches.  The Mississippi Emergency Management Agency was urging residents to prepare Friday.

The threat of Tropical Storm Lee was forcing families to rearrange Labor Day weekend plans.

"We're pretty much staying inside, trying to find anything to occupy our time," said Carl Rabique visiting from Louisiana.  "We had some big plans going to the beach probably Biloxi or something like that, but we're going to have to stay inside and ride it through."

The slow moving system was expected to bring strong winds, but the number one concern was the rain.

"This will be a very significant rain maker, upwards of 10 inches in some places in Central Mississippi. The possibility of long sustained winds of 30, 40, even 50 miles per hour for several hours.  Power lines could come down, power could be knocked out," said MEMA spokesperson Greg Flynn.

Governor Haley Barbour declared a state of emergency for counties along the Mississippi gulf coast including George, Hancock, Harrison, Jackson, Marion, Pearl River and Stone counties.

Hancock County has issued a voluntary evacuation for residents living in low lying areas.

"This tremendous amount of rain may cause significant maybe even dangerous flooding along the coast and across south Mississippi, especially near the waterways.  People need to be prepared," said Governor Haley Barbour.

MEMA officials suggested creating an emergency supply kit with items like a flashlight, battery powered radio and bottled water.

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