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Forecasters Predict Busier Than Expected Hurricane Season

By Rhonda Miller | Published 04 Aug 2011 08:45pm | comments
Mike Flood, left, and Kenny Foote of MDOT give out preparedness information and evacuation guides at the Hurricane Blitz at Edgewater Mall in Biloxi.

Weather forecasters are predicting more hurricanes this season than previously expected. MPB’s Rhonda Miller reports the increasing threat of storms means Mississippians are going into high-gear emergency planning.

During the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s teleconference yesterday to update the outlook for the 2011 season, lead forecaster Gerry Bell said  warm ocean temperatures could mean more hurricanes.

"The number of named storms has increased from May." Bell said. "We predicted 12-to18 now we’re expecting 14-to-19, and three-to-five are expected to become major hurricanes."

That’s why state department of transportation officials recently sponsored a  Hurricane Blitz at Edgewater Mall in Biloxi.

Shoppers stopped by to pick up free hurricane preparedness information and evacuation guides. 

"Batteries, distilled water, first aid kit, disposable diapers..."" Mike Flood of MDOT is reviewing a list of emergency supplies. "...…portable radio, water containers, lanterns, plastic tumblers..."

Becky Roberson is there with her children and says she’s already prepared important documents and personal items.

"Some bank statements in page protectors in a binder, so all I have to do is grab it and run out of the house. Their portrait pictures, things I would be very sad if I didn'thave, are all in one case. We've converted to laptops and external hard drives so all we'd have to do is grab that and run out of the house," Roberson said.

Betty Lampton survived Katrina in her house two blocks from the beach in Biloxi. Like so many others, Lampton is preparing in case she has to ride out the storm.

"I would have a battery-operated radio now, and more ice, of course, candles," Lampton  said.

August, September and October are the most active months for hurricanes.
 

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Mike Flood, left, and Kenny Foote of MDOT give out preparedness information and evacuation guides at the Hurricane Blitz at Edgewater Mall in Biloxi.


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