Governor urging Coast residents to flee; toll-free number available

MISSISSIPPI GULF COAST — Gov. Phil Bryant is urging people in low-lying areas along the Gulf Coast to evacuate for Isaac, which is expected to bring heavy rain and high winds to the state, even if the center of the storm comes ashore in Louisiana.

Bryant said during a briefing today in Gulfport that 1,500 National Guard soldiers and airmen are on standby to respond, and at least 40 state troopers could be brought in to help the 80 already stationed in the southern counties.

Bryant says he knows it’s difficult for people to leave, but homes will be protected.

Isaac could come ashore as a Category 1 hurricane as soon as tomorrow.

Robert Latham, director of the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency, says shelters could start opening Monday, based on need.

In a related item, Mississippi emergency response coordinators have established a toll-free number for the public to call for information about Isaac. It is 1-866-519-6362.

The Mississippi Emergency Management Agency is posting information on Facebook.

It is also posting updates to Twitter at https://twitter.com/MSEMA/.

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