Gov. Tate Reeves declares state of emergency ahead of tropical storms

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JACKSON, Miss. — Gov. Tate Reeves is declaring a state of emergency ahead of approaching tropical storm systems in the Gulf of Mexico.

Tropical storms Laura and Marco are expected to make landfall early next week. Weather experts say there is a lack of predictability with the path the storms could take.

“This has happened ten times since 1869 that two storms are anticipated to hit the United States of America within a one week period,” Reeve said. “We are monitoring very closely both Tropical Storm Marco and Tropical Storm Laura . . . We have a lot to learn about these storms over the next two or three days before we know for sure what’s going to occur.”

Storm season is nothing new, but this year is proving to be even more difficult as COVID-19 ushers in more problems on how to keep families safe.

Cities and towns are left to work out the logistics of where those seeking help can go to get out of the storms path during this pandemic.

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“Sheltering has been the biggest topics of conversation along the entire coastal states,” said Gregory Michael with the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency. “The CDC guidance is going to limit capacity of shelters that we would normally see outside of COVID by some 50 to 60 percent.”

This will mean fewer people, but more shelters. Space will be limited at the shelters, so pets may not be allowed.

These storms could make impact on or around the 15th year anniversary of Hurricane Katrina — one of the deadliest storms in U.S. history. It was August of 2005 when weather experts say a storm surge devastated parts of Louisiana, Alabama and Mississippi.

This is why Reeves says the state is taking extreme precautions.

“I can tell you with certainty, seven days out we had no idea the size and the severity of the storm that was about to hit us,” Reeves said. “That is why I stand before you today five days before expected landfall of Tropical storm Laura, who could become Hurricane Laura.”

The National Guard is reportedly on standby.

You can read the declaration here.

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