Weathering Gustav

5:45 PM
It begins.
The rain and wind have arrived. It quickly got dark and the clouds became grey and ominous!!! Here we go. Winds are from the east at 18 MPH gusting to 36 MPH. Currently, there is no visible evidence of the storm surge from Gustav.

Following is some information on what is happening in the area as preparation for Gustav: No curfew set for Biloxi, but in New Orleans the curfew is set for 10PM. In preparation for this storm, boat owners have moved their shrimp boats into the Biloxi Back Bay this weekend. Some boats are still docked in the marina at the beach in front of the ULM Relief site. The casinos closed this morning at 7AM. This storm shelters for Biloxi, which are area schools, open at 6PM tonight. Many of you might remember eating lunch at the Salvation Army on Division Street. They’ve left up the dome tent.

At noon today, the local city bus service stopped in order to transport residents to the shelters. At 3PM residents living in FEMA and MEMA trailers in Zone A (east Biloxi) and Zone B (Coastal Biloxi) were evacuated. So the residents that lived around the site at 453 Howard Ave who were living in FEMA/MEMA trailers have all left.

Awaiting the Impact of Hurricane Gustav

Greetings ULM Relief friends & partners. Mark Jones and I (Traci Frees) are still going strong in Biloxi recovering from Hurricane Katrina. Now in the face of another natural disaster, we will be bringing you periodic updates of what’s going on at ULM Relief in Biloxi, MS throughout Hurricane Gustav and let you know what relief efforts will be needed after the storm. Everyone is being extremely proactive since Katrina, so you’re probably bombarded with reports of the Gulf Coast through all media sources!

I drove from North Alabama to Mississippi this morning and found there to be traffic congestion on I-65N from Montgomery to Mobile. There are also numerous evacuees on I-10 East from Biloxi to Mobile, so at some points both lanes were stopped, and at most points both lanes were slowed. All rest areas were full of cars from the ramps to the main rest houses. Currently I-65 south and I-10 west are mostly clear. Driving down to Mississippi I had an ominous feeling that I might be going the wrong way

11:45 AM
Partly cloudy, no winds. We at ULM Relief have been preparing for the hurricane this week with the help of friends from Florida, Biloxi, and Keesler Air Force Base. The kitchen and supply tents were dropped and secured to prepare for 50-70mph winds. Vehicles have been moved to higher ground in anticipation of 6-12 feet storm surge predictions. Mark and I are here in Biloxi and will be personally monitoring the condition of the site and Biloxi area. We are poised to take further action when needed and will be keeping y’all posted of what we and the good people of Biloxi are weathering and what plan we will take to recover from any damage.

We will continue to post updates based on our first-hand observations of Hurricane Gutsav in Biloxi.

New Challenges in Biloxi

It has been almost three years to the day since Hurricane Katrina crashed into the Gulf Coast of Mississippi and Louisiana. All those that have been involved with the relief and recovery effort have been tested and endured, we have rebuilt and restored the homes and lives of thousands of individuals.

Now we look out to the Gulf and wonder the same pressing thought, is Gustav, Fay or some yet un-named Storm going to hit us while we are still recovering from Katrina? Gustav is heading out into the Gulf and expected to turn into a strong hurricane. Louisiana and Mississippi are getting ready for the impact and ULM Relief is going to be standing with them.

We are also preparing for the worst that Gustav can bring while at the same time thankful that we are in a position to provide relief to the people as soon as they need it, not days, weeks, months or even years later.

For those of you that have spent time with us, worked side by side restoring hope and rebuilding the lives deeply affected by Hurricane Katrina please keep us in mind when you watch the reports of Gustav over the next several days. We all may need to stand side by side once more and bring hope and relief to the people that will need it.

Volunteers can change lives, their own and those of the many people they help. It is beginning to look like we will all have the honor to help once again.

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