Tuesday, Sept. 15 update (2:45 p.m.)
The National Hurricane Center has cancelled the Tropical Storm Warning for Forrest County.
Hurricane Sally continues to track to the east and has failed to strengthen.
Tropical Storm Force winds are no longer expected in Forrest County.
Forrest County will remain under a flash flood watch and rainfall amounts of 2 to 4 inches of rain can be expected. This could lead to localized flash flooding in low lying areas.
Officials will not open the Forrest County 361 Shelter unless the track of the storms shifts back to the west and this is not expected.
Tuesday, Sept. 15 update (8 a.m.)
Sally has been downgraded to a category 1 hurricane.
Most of Forrest County and parts of Lamar County remain under an elevated threat for flash flooding, and 4-6 inches of rain, with some areas of flash flooding, are likely. A small portion of Forrest County and a larger portion of Lamar County remain under a limited threat of flash flooding with 2-4 inches of rain possible. Strong winds are expected, and most of Forrest and Lamar counties remain under an elevated threat of strong winds with sustained gusts of 30-40 miles per hour, with some gusts up to 50 miles per hour, are expected. These conditions are expected to impact the area beginning Tuesday afternoon and into late Wednesday.
Monday, Sept. 14 update (6 p.m.)
Sally has been upgraded to a category 2 hurricane with winds in excess of 100 miles per hour. The track has again shifted east, and landfall is now expected for 1 a.m. on Wednesday near Pascagoula. The National Weather Service in Jackson has downgraded the flash flooding threat for most of Forrest and Lamar counties to the elevated level, indicating that local areas should expect 4-6 inches of rain with some areas of flash flooding likely beginning Tuesday afternoon through late Wednesday.
Forrest County and much of Lamar County remains under an elevated threat for strong winds with sustained winds of 30-40 miles per hour and gusts of up to 50 miles per hour expected Tuesday afternoon and into Wednesday.
Hattiesburg, Petal, Forrest County and Lamar County schools will have virtual learning on Tuesday. Lamar County schools will also be closed and participating in virtual learning on Wednesday. Jones College will close at 4 p.m. Tuesday and remain closed Wednesday, and classes will meet online. Classes at William Carey University's Hattiesburg campus are canceled for Monday night and Tuesday.
Monday, Sept. 14 update (8:50 a.m.)
The National Weather Service forecast office in Jackson advises that heavy rainfall and flash flooding will be a threat to parts of the Pine Belt as Sally approaches and moves inland starting Tuesday and continuing into early Thursday. Most of Forrest County, along with parts of Lamar County, remain under a significant threat for heavy rain; 6-12 inches of rain, with isolated higher amounts possible, are likely, along with expected widespread flash flooding. The majority of Lamar County, along with a small portion of Forrest County, is under an elevated threat for heavy rainfall with 4-8 inches of rain expected.
Sally’s strongest winds will be across the Pine Belt, and both Forrest and Lamar counties remain under an elevated threat of strong winds. Sustained winds of 30-40 miles per hour, along with gusts of up to 50 miles per hour, are expected Tuesday afternoon into Wednesday, and downed trees and power outages will likely occur.
Sunday, Sept. 13 update (6:30 p.m.)
Forrest and Lamar counties can expect heavy rainfall, strong winds and severe storms. The counties are under a significant threat of heavy rainfall (8-16 inches), and widespread flash flooding is expected through Thursday. An elevated threat of strong winds has been issued by the weather forecast office in Jackson; sustained winds of 30-40 miles per hour, with gusts up to 50 miles per hour, are possible through Wednesday. Isolated severe storms and tornadoes are also possible into Tuesday night.
Sand bags and face masks are available at the Forrest County Emergency Operations Center (4080 U.S. 11, Hattiesburg), Hattiesburg Fire Station 1 (810 Main St.) and Petal Fire Station 1 (102 Fairchild Drive).
All campuses of Pearl River Community College will close at 1 p.m. Monday and transition to online formats. In-person classes are expected to resume Thursday.