Mississippi’s coastal communities brace for Hurricane Laura

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HARRISON COUNTY, Miss. (WJTV) – The Mississippi Gulf Coast didn’t receive damage from Tropical Storm Marco, but they’re now bracing for Hurricane Laura. The hurricane is expected to make landfall in Louisiana later this week.

Experts predict from Waveland to Ocean Springs, Mississippians could see a storm surge between three and five feet.

“We are paying very close attention to the storm watching it constantly on my iPhone. We’ve got alerts that will trigger us if there’s a change to what’s going on,” explained Tom Cole, who lives in Waveland.

“We do have sandbag locations all over the county. There are some shelter locations if somebody needs to get out,” said Waveland Mayor Mike Smith.

The mayor said he’s not taking any chances with Hurricane Laura. The storm’s winds could still create a storm surge. According to Smith, Waveland often gets more than what’s predicted.

“Flood protection around the city of New Orleans, in Cristobal for example, we expected five feet. We got eight feet, because it’s bouncing off that levee system and coming back to us,” said Smith.

Fifteen years ago, Hurricane Katrina demolished the Waveland shoreline. Afterwards, FEMA required all new homes built south of the railroad tracks to stand at a minimum of 27 feet above sea level.

“Probably had six or eight, bringing one, two, three feet of water. And then during construction, we had eight feel of water below the house. The house is built on 27 foot pylons,” said Cole.

The storm surge from Hurricane Laura could begin advancing Wednesday morning.

Click here to keep up with the Storm Team 12 forecast.

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