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Ashley Rodrigue / Eyewitness News
Email: arodrigue@wwltv.com | Twitter: @ashleyrwwl

MISSISSIPPI- The early, uncertain track of what has become Tropical Storm Cristobal opened the eyes of many that peak hurricane season is here.

And if your family evacuation plan includes heading north to Mississippi, emergency officials there are warning about a kink in that plan.

'We encourage anyone that's fleeing from the south during hurricane season to keeping going north, because we don't have the facilities here to house them,' said Wilkinson County Emergency Management Director Thomas Tolliver.

The reason is the fracking boom in Amite and Wilkinson counties. Workers have set up shop in every hotel in southwest Mississippi's three border counties, stretching as far north as Natchez and McComb. And the 18-wheelers that go with the fracking operations clog up important escape arteries daily.

While shelters in those areas are a possible backup, officials say don't count on it.

'In the event of a major disaster, and we did have to open up a shelter, it would be for residents of the county first and look at the possibilities afterward,' said Grant McCurley, emergency management director for Amite County.

Louisiana leaders say knowing the situation in Mississippi is helpful for planning purposes, but because the issues are manageable, there shouldn't be concern.

'I really don't see a big problem, but it's something we need to be made aware of and make our people aware of it, working with the sheriff's office in the counties and the state,' said Tangipahoa Parish President Gordon Burgess.

The main advice now is to get a game plan that doesn't include just crossing state lines.

Tangipahoa officials say they have the ability to open as many as six shelters, but like Mississippi leaders, they say priority will go to residents of the parish.

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