MEMA releases Hurricane Katrina updates

Jackson – Approximately 8,500 people are in 79 shelters in Mississippi. American Red Cross officials said all shelters in the Jackson, Meridian and Vicksburg areas are at capacity. The Jackson Coliseum is also at capacity with 1,196 people. Additional shelters statewide are still on standby if needed.

The roof is failing at the Jackson County Emergency Management building, causing officials to relocate to the Jackson County Courthouse. Jackson County EM has been without power for an hour because the generators flooded from approximately 2 feet of water outside the building and winds of 134 mph.

The Hancock County Sheriff's Department reports they have lost communications from a down antenna. The Harrison County Emergency Management has also lost power from generators.

All Mississippi interstates are open, but Mississippi Department Transportation officials urge people not to drive unless it is an emergency situation. Roadways will be dangerous with high winds.

Officials urge all Mississippians that hazardous conditions will exist in areas of the state after Katrina passes. Evacuees and residents are urged not to return to their homes until officials say it is safe to return to damaged areas.

Salvation Army officials said they have 59 canteens ready to deploy in Mississippi after Katrina passes with the ability to feed 415,000 people. Canteens are mobile kitchens that will be able to move from location to location in damaged areas.