Today marks the official start of Fall Severe Weather Preparedness Week in Mississippi. Back in September, Governor Phil Bryant signed a proclamation announcing the week, aimed at keeping residents prepared for the worst.
With fall comes colder temperatures and worse weather, which can possibly pose issues for Mississippi residents. T.J. Werre with the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency tells News 25 that it is always important for residents to be prepared for what could come next. “You know we’re getting towards the end of hurricane season and everybody thinks, ‘oh that’s good,’ then we get to the fall and you know the spring and the fall are known for tornadoes and the fall is definitely always the one you have to lookout for.”
2019 has been one of the most active years for tornadoes in state history. Since the start of the year, the state has been affected by 86 tornadoes, which is 186 percent higher than the national average.
While most of the tornadoes have been in the northern part of the state, Harrison County Emergency Management Director Rupert Lacy explains that residents need to be aware that a tornado can happen anywhere. “Waterspouts could become a tornado once they come over land. We’ve seen some of those in the fall, but with thunderstorms you never know, conditions just right, a tornado could pop up.”
Perhaps the biggest issue affecting South Mississippi is flooding, which is seen as a regular issue when rainfall increases. “The fall foliage is falling now that so that means that leaves are falling into ditches. Those ditches are now becoming concentrated with that debris. So the water is going to rise higher which means you don’t need to be driving through that.”
For a full list of flood maps and severe weather information you can visit the Harrison County EMA at co.harrison.ms.us.