Fair could close due to tropical storm - MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS

Fair could close due to tropical storm

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JACKSON, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

Tropical Storm Karen could force the fair to shutdown and the coliseum would be turned into a shelter for thousands of people. Executive Director of the Mississippi Coliseum, Billy Orr, says his team is ready if Karen packs a punch close to the metro city.

"Well, I don't know a safer place in Mississippi besides this coliseum," said Billy Orr.

Constructed more than 40 years ago Mississippi Coliseum Director Billy Orr says the beams are steel and can withstand hurricane forced winds.

"And it's all welded. There is not a bolt in this building. It's all welded," said Orr.

If necessary, the fair will come to a halt and the coliseum doors will open, welcoming in more than two thousand people to the shelter.

"What will happen is the people on the fairgrounds, we've had meetings with them about safety and security and so forth. They know that the coliseum is very secure and some other buildings we have like the trade mart and the equine center," says Orr.

Orr says between the coliseum and the equine center, five thousand people could be housed inside the two buildings. Meanwhile, the Salvation Army says its prepared if Karen tracks closer to land.

"All we have to do is load this truck, get the person ready, which they are ready on a moments notice and we are off to go," said Joe Miceli.

"Our mobile canteen which we can take out to disasters and we set it up on an area where we can prepare meals and cook and serve out of here. We can serve 1500 to 2500 a day out of this truck," says Gregory Smith.

The Salvation Army right now is prepared to travel at least two hours outside of the metro area if necessary. It is also prepared like the coliseum to help victims in Jackson.

"We've thought about it and we've done all we can do physically to let everyone know we will be here to take care of them. All they have to do is run in here," said Orr.

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