Adams County sees mudslides, minor flooding with storm

Published 12:00 am Friday, March 2, 2001

Except for scattered power outages, small mudslides and minor flooding, Natchez-Adams County and the surrounding area was mostly spared during Thursday night’s rainstorm.

&uot;Fortunately we haven’t seen anything that really serious,&uot; said Richard Burke, director of public works for the City of Natchez.

Natchez had several small mudslides, including one on Silver Street, but Burke said he does not anticipate any large slides.

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&uot;I wouldn’t be looking for any big slides because of the bluff stabilization,&uot; Burke said.

The Silver Street slide took place prior to 5:30 a.m. Friday, when dirt slid down an embankment crossing the road and hitting an Isle of Capri Bus, which stopped to avoid the slide, Burke said.

The bus was not damaged and the driver were not injured but &uot;we spent all morning and early morning working on that,&uot; Burke said.

Learned’s Mill Road had three mudslides that city employees began cleaning up Friday afternoon, Burke said.Adams County sees mudslides, minor flooding

Trees fell on Duncan Avenue and Green Street and other areas of the city including Main and Canal streets, Merrill Avenue, Eastwood Road and Watts Street had minor flooding problems many caused by clogged drainage systems.

&uot;We spent the last several weeks doing a lot of gutter cleaning and drain cleaning,&uot; Burke said.

But with the rain some of those systems backed up again, he said.

City employees also placed sandbags around a house on North Temple Road after water from the Tracetown parking lot caused damage to the residence.

Except for a few fallen trees and small mudslides in the Sedgefield area and fallen trees around Highway 84 No. 1, Highway 84 No. 3 and Old Highway 84 No. 1, Adams County also did not receive much damage, said Maj. Bill McDaniel of the Adams County Sheriff’s Department.

Surrounding counties also had little damage.

Brenda White, assistant director for the Jefferson County Civil Defense office, said she had not heard of any storm damage in Jefferson County except for flooding on Mississippi 33 near Stampley Road.

Officials had to route the traffic elsewhere, she said.

Franklin County Civil Defense Director Jimmy Torrey said no trees fell o in his jurisdiction but Franklin County did have some minor flooding.

&uot;There are a few county roads damaged with water unusually high but they’re not closed,&uot; he said.

Officials had to close one state highway commonly called the River Road. but that road typically floods and it is not an essential road for vehicles, he said.

Wilkinson County also did not experience any major storm damage, said a spokesperson with the Wilkinson County Sheriff’s Department.

Power outages were also minimal during Thursday’s storm.

Forest Persons, customer service manager for Entergy. said less than 100 of its Adams County customers lost power Thursday night.

Those included about 60 customers in the Liberty Road area, six on Redd Loop Road and two on Duncan Avenue all of which had power restored during the early hours of the morning or in the case of Duncan Avenue by about 9 a.m.

&uot;We just feel real lucky,&uot; Persons said.

Since trees did not slide off the bluffs onto power lines damage was not major, he said.

Entergy customers in surrounding areas also had little trouble during the storm..

Except for scattered outages in the Centerville area, Entergy customers in Franklin County, Jefferson County and Wilkinson County did not lose power during the night, Persons said.

Jimmy June, manager of member services for the Southwest Mississippi Electric Power Association, said about 500 of its Adams County customers lost power Thursday night including customers near Elgin Plantation, Scotland Drive and Aberdeen Drive.

Power was restored to all of the customers by 10:30 a.m., he said.

About 100 of its customers in Jefferson County lost power with the problems all fixed by 1:30 p.m.

Franklin County did not have any outages and Wilkinson County had about 100 scattered outages most of which were restored by 1:30 p.m.

Overall, June said his company is pleased with how its equipment survived the storm, in part due to recent efforts by the company to prevent outages.

&uot;We’ve been cutting a lot of right away in the past two to three years and it really has helped us,&uot; he said.

Jerry McDonald, area engineer for the Vidalia office of the Army Corps of Engineers, said his office’s main concern right now is the Mississippi River.

&uot;It’s predicated to crest at 48.5 feet which is half a foot about flood stage,&uot; McDonald said.

This should happen in about a week possibly causing flooding in Deerpark and Minorca – low-lying fishing communities in Concordia Parish unprotected by levies, McDonald said.

The recent rain in the Miss-Lou or &uot;local rain&uot; is not causing the biggest threat, McDonald said.

&uot;It affects the Mississippi River but it doesn’t affect it as much (as rain) up in the Ohio Valley,&uot; McDonald said.

The local rain tends to leave the area faster because it has a shorter distance to travel to the Gulf of Mexico, he said.

The local rain will also not cause problems for Natchez’s ongoing bluff stabilization work except to slow it down.

&uot;Other than making it wet and muddy it hasn’t had any effect on us,&uot; McDonald said.

Adams County Road Manager Russell Dorris said he wants to remind the public that even small mudslides can be dangerous.

The silt tends to clog up ditches forcing the water to overflow onto roadways.

When that occurs &uot;the potential is there for someone to come through the water, hydroplaning and loosing control of their vehicle,&uot; Dorris said.

With more rain expected during the weekend, Adams County Civil Defense Director George Souderes

took the &uot;precautionary measure&uot; of receiving 5,000 sandbags from the Army Corps of Engineering and storing them for county purposes.

&uot;We have the sandbags just in case we need them,&uot; Souderes said.

With the ground in Adams County so saturated they may be necessary, he said.

&uot;The only way we can stabilize some of our drainage structures is to protect them with sandbags,&uot; he said.

They may also be needed to protect roadways, he said.

It has been about four years since Adams County has requested sandbags, Souderes said.