JACKSON, MS (WLOX) – A State of Emergency has been declared for the Mississippi Gulf Coast as a tropical weather system moves toward the state.
Lieutenant Governor Phil Bryant, in consultation with Governor Haley Barbour, ordered the State of Emergency as well as the activation of the Mississippi National Guard to aid local officials with emergency response.
Hancock, Harrison and Jackson counties may be affected by the storm. The State of Emergency order allows emergency responders to efficiently utilize resources and receive state aid to respond to the emergency situation.
"While the tropical system lacks the strength of a hurricane, it's a storm that will probably have some impact on our coast, and we must continue to monitor the impact of the storm on the oil in the Gulf of Mexico," Governor Barbour said.
"Residents can expect to see strong winds, heavy rain and possible storm surge as expected with any tropical disturbance; however this storm poses a unique challenge with the oil spill. We may see oil come onshore and impact areas that have been previously unaffected by the spill. We have state agencies ready to respond to any storm or oil damage as quickly as possible."
Governor Barbour is in California meeting with business executives but is prepared to return quickly if needed.
The Mississippi Emergency Management Agency, the Departments of Environmental Quality and Marine Resources and local emergency officials are preparing for the storm and its potential impact on the oil spill.