Some of the top stories we discussed on this June 6th edition of "Gulf Coast Mornings with Kelly Bennett and Uncle Henry":
Today (Thursday) is the 75th anniversary of D-Day, the pivotal event of World War 2. Here's a basic primer on the Allied offensive against Germany.
- Seaborne troops from the U.S., the U.K. and Canada landed on the beaches of Normandy, France shortly after midnight on June 6th, 1944.
- The attack was codenamed Operation Neptune.
- "D-Day" is a generic military term referring to the day an operation is to commence.
- It was the largest seaborne invasion in history, with more than 160,000 troops coming ashore just on June 6th. Before it was over, more than 875,000 troops had crossed the English Channel to take part.
- 6,939 vessels took part in the invasion: 1,213 warships, 4,126 landing craft of various types, 736 ancillary craft and 864 merchant vessels.
- None of the Allied objectives were actually realized on the first day. It took until June 12th just to connect all five beachheads where troops had landed. The French city of Caen, a major objective, wasn't captured until July 21st.
- Though the amphibious assault gets the most attention in history books and the movies, the Allies also undertook aerial bombings and airborne assaults, notably by the 101st Airborne Division.
- The invasion cost the Allies more than 10,000 casualties, with 4,414 confirmed dead.
A tropical system that came ashore in Mexico this week is helping to produce the threat of severe weather in Mississippi today. The National Weather Service says there could be some damaging winds especially in the eastern part of the state and some brief, weak tornadoes. The biggest threat will be heavy rain- maybe up to four inches across the southern half of the state. There's a flash flood watch in effect through this evening.
A Mississippi congressman wants answers from the Army Corps of Engineers on what it plans to do about water from the Mississippi River that's hurting marine life on the coast. Republican Steven Palazzo is also asking for an immediate study of the impact that water flowing through the Bonnet Carre spillway is having on the coastal ecosystems. And he says Mississippi should have input into the decision-making process. Palazzo's letter comes as coastal residents hold a meeting called Save Our Coast to talk with local officials and statewide political candidates about the problems the spillway opening is causing.
Two more Jackson waterways have been added to the list of places to avoid over concerns of possible contamination. The state department of environmental quality is asking residents not to swim or fish in Big Creek or Belhaven Creek. That brings the number of contaminated waterways in the Jackson area to nine. In a recent report to the EPA, the city said nearly 300-thousand-gallons of raw sewage had overflowed into tributaries of the Pearl River since January. Officials are monitoring the water's quality and will revise the list as needed.
In Kemper County, the sheriff is asking for prayers after another deadly traffic accident. A total of eleven people have died on the county's highways this week -- eight members of the same family in a head-on collision Monday -- and three people killed in yesterday's crash involving two trucks, an SUV and a school bus. Both wrecks were near Scooba, only a few miles apart.