A procession of vessels left Biloxi Bay on Friday afternoon ahead of Tropical Storm Nate, which is expected to make landfall this weekend.
One-by-one, the pleasure crafts, charter boats and shrimp trawlers cruised under the Popp's Ferry Bridge headed to safe harbors.
The cities of Biloxi, Gulfport, Pass Christian, Long Beach, and D'Iberville have ordered all boat owners to move their vessels from public harbors. With the expected storm surge, these vessels are vulnerable to damage from Nate.
According to the city, nearly 300 vessels in Biloxi's four public harbors and marinas are expected to cause traffic delays at Popp's Ferry Bridge.
Officials said maritime law mandates bridge tenders to open spans for marine traffic.