Rain drenches much of Miss-Lou

Published 12:00 am Thursday, April 13, 2000

When Alicia Yielding was called to work at Natchez Community Hospital at 2 a.m. Wednesday, she found ankle-deep water in five of the hospital’s departments. Reports said a storm dumped anywhere from 3 to 5 1/2 inches over the area in a short period of time, causing minor flooding of roads and buildings and inconveniences for just about everyone.

&uot;There was so much rain so quickly that it couldn’t drain away, and it was running in under doors. We did not have to move any patients, most of them were awake because of the storm,&uot; Yielding said. &uot;We called in 17 employees to help clean up and also called in Service Master. By 5 a.m. we had everything under control and back in place.

&uot;We have had no interruption of services and today it is business as usual.&uot;

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Natchez Community wasn’t the only place with problems.

&uot;I recorded 5 1/2 inches of rain at my house last night,&uot; said Adams County Civil Defense Director George Souderes. &uot;I have heard that Community Hospital had flooding last night, and some streets really got inundated with rain, such as Lower Woodville Road, Liberty Road, Old Washington Road and streets in the Montebello subdivision. I’ve not heard of any downed trees. We’re looking for some more rain later this evening, tonight and also (Thursday).&uot;

Natchez Public Works Director Richard Burke said the city lost a few trees and had some stopped-up drains, but damage was not major.

Some of the areas with clogged drains and erosion problems were located on Espero Drive, Highland Drive and Homewood Park on North Martin Luther King Jr. Street, some areas of Morgantown Road Rollingwood and in older sections of town.

The problem with the storm was the large amount of rain that fell in a short period of time. Over 24 hours that amount of rain wouldn’t have seemed like as much, Burke said.

&uot;That’s like pouring a big bucket of water (over) everything,&uot; Burke said. The rain fills up structures and takes a while to drain, he said.

City Engineer David Gardner said Natchez Water Works reported 2.9 inches of rainfall in about an hour in a half. &uot;Those three inches in a hour — that hurts you,&uot; Gardner said.

Under normal rain conditions, such as two inches over eight hours, the current drainage system is adequate, Gardner said.

But sections of the city with old drainage systems cannot handle a lot of rain at one time.

&uot;It seems like we’ve been getting a lot of these hard gully-washers lately and that’s hard on a drainage system, Gardner said.

There was minor flooding in Vidalia, but nothing was severe. It was in low-lying areas and did not go into any structures, according to the Concordia Parish Sheriff’s Office.

In Vidalia, Apple Street was the only street reported to the Vidalia Police Department that was under water.

The flooding kept one carpet-cleaning business, Service Master, busy most of the day.

&uot;You can go just about everywhere in town and find water,&uot; Service Master owner Jack Archer said. &uot;I’ve had almost a dozen calls this morning.&uot;

Most businesses were just trying to return to normal Wednesday.

Donna Hardy, director of Precious Child Care on Highland Boulevard, arrived at work Wednesday to find two inches of water in some areas of the business.

&uot;We opened the door and it just looked like a lake,&uot; Hardy said.

The day care, which cares for 80 children, was closed Wednesday.