Streets, homes flooded

Published 12:00 am Thursday, August 19, 2010

NATCHEZ — No one built an ark, but more than one person thought about it Wednesday as more than 10 inches of rain fell in some parts of the Miss-Lou.

The rains started before daylight and continued into the night as the remnants of Tropical Depression 5 sat over southwest Mississippi and central Louisiana. Today’s forecast isn’t any brighter.

Low-lying areas felt the brunt of the steady, pouring rain from approximately 8 a.m. to after noon. Water seeped into houses, businesses and closed down roadways.

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“It looks like a lake in my yard,” Concordia Park resident Dimple Webb said. “And it’s slowly coming inside.”

Water seemed to be coming through the walls at Webb’s house, she said, soaking the edges of the carpet.

Employees at Jordan Carriers Inc. in Natchez spent their morning moving important office items from the flooded first floor to the second floor, accounting employee Summer Stone said.

“We were sitting at our desks and water started coming in under the doors,” Stone said. “It came up to my ankles.”

In Vidalia, city workers spent the day attempting to pump water off flat, low-lying streets. Keeping up with the rate of falling water was impossible though, street department Director Lee Staggs said.

All flowing rainwater in Vidalia eventually drains into the Vidalia Canal, but a partially blocked canal full of rainwater didn’t leave any room for more.

“It just doesn’t have anywhere else to go,” Staggs said.

Apple Street was covered in water that crept nearly to some doorways and closed the street to traffic for most of the day. When rains slowed in late afternoon, the water began receding.

Other partially flooded streets included Lee Avenue, Bill Johnson Drive and Lillian Road.

Concordia Parish Emergency Management Director Morris White said most of the high water was receding by nightfall.

In Adams County, a state of emergency was declared due to flash flooding and road erosions, Adams County Emergency Management Director Stan Owens said.

Water from the 50-acre Robins Lake poured south over the dam on Robins Lake Road, covering approximately 80 yards of the road and rendering it impassable.

A bridge on Bourke Road reportedly flooded, Owens said. A portion of Timber Lake Road was closed due to flooding, and the road sustained damage.

A bridge on Lower Woodville Road was closed early in the day due to flooding, but it was open for traffic by 5 p.m., Owens said.

A few roads had small mudslides and trees were down on Lower Woodville and Liberty roads. The trees have since been cleared from roads.

The American Red Cross branches servicing Concordia Parish and Adams County discussed opening an emergency shelter, but neither did.

Adams County Red Cross Chapter Manager Debra Davis said she they were responding to calls of tree and wind damage in Jefferson and Wilkinson counties, but not in Adams County.

Both Red Cross offices fielded calls of flooding inside a handful of houses, but the damage was reportedly not enough to drive residents from the houses.

The rain also caused hazardous driving conditions all day long, including a handful of wrecks in Natchez and at least two overturned cars in Concordia Parish.

The rain was predicted to taper off overnight, but pick back up today, Jackson National Weather Service Meteorologist Ariel Cohen said.

Showers are predicted to continue until week’s end.