Preparing for hurricane season key
PINE BELT, Miss. (WDAM) - The hurricane season is just starting, but that doesn’t mean preparations can’t start now.
The odds of the Pine Belt having to evacuate are lower than those of the Coast, but a plan should still be in place.
“Many people from the Mississippi Gulf Coast evacuate to Hattiesburg in a hurricane, as well as people of Louisiana, especially in the New Orleans area,” said Anna Ehrgott, Mississippi Department of Transportation public information officer.
“The City of Hattiesburg and the Pine Belt does see a bit of increased traffic in a hurricane situation.”
If unsure about which alternate routes to take in the event of an evacuation, MDOT has it covered.
“MDOT has actually mapped out more than 20 different evacuation routes in the Hurricane Evacuation Guide,” Ehrgott said. “It’s free and available for download for anyone, and you can also request a printed copy online as well.
“So, we encourage anyone to go ahead and download that guide. We know from the past that we have had powerful hurricanes strike Mississippi.”
Familiar highways that normally have a heavy flow of traffic will be even worse.
“We encourage you to take alternate routes as much as possible,” Ehrgott said. “We know that Highway 49 becomes very congested in evacuation situations, so find the route closest to you and choose alternate routes when possible.”
The earlier the preparation, the less stress involved when action needs to be taken.
“It’s still early in June, very early on in the hurricane season, and as we know, things will pick up later on down the road,” Ehrgott said. “It’s and it’s much better to be prepared in advanced instead of scrambling at the last minute.”
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