WJTV News Channel 12 - MEMA monitoring Gulf; relief organizations ready to respond

MEMA monitoring Gulf; relief organizations ready to respond

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Storm Team 12 Chief Meteorologist Ken South reports tropical moisture is moving in from the south and will eventually meet up with a cold front moving through from the northwest. Here in Central Mississippi, we could see tropical downpours Saturday night into Sunday as the system moves through. The heart of the tropical moisture will move just to our east.

Whether or not Mississippi gets the brunt of the tropical weather, state agencies and local organizations are ready to respond.

MEMA Director Robert Latham is closely monitoring the Gulf of Mexico. He says it's a big tourism weekend along the Mississippi Gulf Coast.

Sunday starts "Cruisin' the Coast"--dubbed "America's Largest Block Party." While organizers are counting the days until the classic cars arrive, Latham is busy watching the water.

"We have thousands of citizens that are already starting to move in to the Mississippi Gulf Coast to set up tents and other things that all of the sudden become projectiles when we get significant winds," says Latham.

Disaster relief organizations are also ready at a moment's notice. The Red Cross and The Salvation Army are often first on-the-scene.

"We are ready!" says Joe Micelli, The Salvation Army's Director of Operations. "We have our vehicles ready; we have our staff ready; we can leave here anywhere from 30 minutes to two hours to go anywhere that we need to know."

"Our hearts are with our clients," says Cheryl Kocurek, the Readiness and Response Manager for Red Cross. "We share hugs; we listen to stories; we provide emotional support in the first few hours of a disaster."

And these organizations are ready to go wherever, whenever.

The Salvation Army right now is in desperate need of canned goods and diapers. If you're able to help, deliver your donations to their location at 110 Presto Lane in North Jackson.

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