Evacuation recommended at city harbors, marinas
Owners of vessels in Biloxi's four harbors and marinas have been notified that they should consider moving their vessels to safer locations ahead of turbulent weather possible with Hurricane Delta.
"Although evacuation is not mandatory at this time, it is highly recommended that vessels be relocated well in advance to safer locations in order to protect both the vessel and the marina/harbor," Port Division Manager Larry Sablich said in an email sent to the 300 or so owners of vessels.
"All finger piers and your dock area must be free and clear of all unnecessary items. If you have any extra vehicles or trailers in our parking lots, please remove them" by noon Wednesday.
Sablich also reminded boaters that bridges will not open for marine traffic when sustained winds reach 39 mph. Said Sablich: "If you are relocating your vessel to points north of those bridges, please pay special attention to the advisories from the state, county and cities regarding the bridges."
Delta now a Cat 4 storm
Hurricane Delta, now a Category 4 storm, was moving across the western Caribbean Sea at 16 mph with maximum sustained winds of 130 mph this morning.
Continued strengthening is expected and Delta will be a major hurricane before reaching the Yucatan Peninsula near Cancun and crossing into the southern Gulf of Mexico, the National Hurricane Center says.
Once in the southern Gulf, the system will slow down. Initially, the storm will maintain strength in warm water but steering winds are expected to then accelerate the system north and possibly northeast through the cooler central and northern Gulf on Thursday. By this time, some wind shear and dry air could work on the storm as well, and some weakening is expected.
Forecasters warn that with tropical systems, uncertainty increases farther out in time. The track error is about 150 miles, so it is important to check the forecast frequently in case of changes. On its current track, coastal communities should prepare for hurricane conditions to arrive late Thursday.
News & notes: Council, Cruisin'
Council: The Biloxi City Council conducts its first-of-the-month evening meeting at 6 tonight. The meeting will be streamed live. To see the agenda and supporting documents, click here.
Cruisin': Preparations were well underway today for the Cruisin' the Coast Downtown Biloxi Block Party, which takes place Wednesday from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. To see a Facebook photo gallery and the block party details, click here.