'Stay in, this event is not over'

HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - As a slow-moving Hurricane Isaac continued to batter the Gulf coast and makes its way north Wednesday morning, Forrest County officials gathered at the Emergency Management Office, advising residents to keep the radio and television on, because the worst is still to come.

"The message of the day I feel like is to ask the citizens to stay in, this event is not over," said Forrest County Board of Supervisors President David Hogan. "We're looking at at least another 24 hours of these types of conditions with the threat of tornados."

No power outages have been reported so far in Forrest County and school districts will hold at meeting at 3 p.m. to determine whether school closings for tomorrow.

"Here at the office throughout the night we were experiencing about 15 to 20 mph sustained winds, and that's probably what most of the county was feeling," said EOC Operations Manager Kyle Hopkins. "I think the highest gusts we got was 30 mph, so we did feel some of those effects." Hopkins says Wednesday afternoon is when the storm will pick up. "[Thirty mph],that's going to be our sustained winds. And our gusts are going to be over 50 to 60 miles per hour."

Hattiesburg Mayor Johnny Dupree said overnight, the city did not sustain any major damage but tells residents to stay vigilant for this next 24 hours.

"We've already been under two tornado warnings, we're under a watch right now, until about 7 tonight. And that'll probably extend later on. You can expect us to be in a tornado watch probably for the duration of the storm," said Hopkins. "Just because it doesn't look bad outside, doesn't mean it's not going to get bad outside."