Harrison County officials waiting to see how flooding will impact roads, bridges

By Danielle Thomas - bio | email

HARRISON COUNTY, MS (WLOX) - A day after heavy rains flooded many South Mississippi streets, drivers continued to run into "Road Closed" signs. In Harrison County, several streets remain closed Sunday due to high water. Officials say once the water to goes down, they'll have a better idea how much road repair work is ahead.

One street partially submerged in water was Magnolia Drive. David Towery said although the road was repaved just five years ago, several floods from the Wolf River have taken their toll.

"Every time it floods, it pretty much gets underneath and cracks everything," said Towery. "They've got a couple of bad spots, of course, you can't see now because of the water is so high."

High waters caused a log jam under the bridge on Belle Ferry Road. Harrison County Sand Beach Director Bobby Weaver, who oversees county roads and bridges, says the debris needs to be cleared out soon.

"The biggest issue the pressure against the piling," Weaver said. "You know if it jams up and is leaning on the piling with enough lateral force it could have a piling break. We don't want that to occur, so we're going to try to expedite getting the timbers off of it as soon we possibly can."

Weaver says the county will probably hire a contractor to remove the log debris, but other jobs will be done in-house.

County crews made temporary patches to some roads over the weekend including Lechene Road where a section of asphalt collapsed. A section on Menge Avenue, south of Pineville Road, also had damage from flooding.

Weaver says, on Monday, crews will start making repairs, although no one is sure exactly how much work needs to be done.

"We still have some roads under water," said Weaver. "We're not able to make a full assessment of what damages may be out there until that water subsides and take a full look at that. Plus, we need to look at a lot of these bridges that went under water. Make sure there is no debris hung up in the pilings.

Part of 28th Street in Long Beach was closed to traffic as of noon Sunday because it was flooded. Not only will roads demand attention, so will the drainage ditches.

"We had so much rain fall in a short time period, and it just inundated the ditches," Weaver said. "Everything flowed through at a faster rate so we need to look at all of the shoulders at the road just to make sure there is no erosion, go ahead and get them back in shape."

Harrison County officials say despite some problems, roads did well overall.

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