Flash Flooding Damages Homes In Pearl River County - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

04/26/04

Flash Flooding Damages Homes In Pearl River County

Heavy rainfall in Pearl River County damaged homes, forced street closings and contributed to more than two dozen accidents.

In the hardest hit areas, around a dozen houses sustained at least some water damage. Emergency management teams and the Red Cross spent much of the day assessing the damage and offering assistance to storm victims.

The civil defense director's pick up truck gave our news crew a clear view of a neighborhood that appeared underwater. Late Monday morning, the water was still rising in Westchester subdivision.

Bobby Strahan is the Emergency Management Director in Pearl River County.

"In this area, the Westchester area, they got over eight inches of rain here yesterday evening in a short amount of time. So, this thing really come up quick," he explained.

The water in Westchester certainly appeared threatening but by late morning, although it surrounded several houses, it hadn't damaged any yet.

Karl Brinkerhoff watched the water level from his front porch, and waited for the worst.

 "We're a little higher than obviously some of these other hosues. But like I said, we're just waiting to see how high it comes," he said.

Chris Maxwell's backyard resembled a raging river. So far, the sand bags protecting his home were holding up.

"Well, we put some sand bags up. That's all we can do right now.It's not in the house yet. But last time it flooded it was in the house," Maxwell said.

While folks in Westchester spent Monday nervously watching the water level, just a couple miles away, across Highway 43, the water had mostly receeded, but the flood damage clean up was well underway.

Heavy rains left the Burns family dealing with soggy carpet and six inches of rain water throughout the house.

"Every room got wet. Every room," said Lois Burns, as she pulled up another section of wet carpet.

The family was home when the storms arrived and the flooding began. At a certain point, they knew it was trouble.

"When it started getting on the car port, flooding on the car port. That's when my husband said, it's going to be in the house. And it did. It did," she said.

County officials expected most of the water to drain away by late afternoon, provided there's no more heavy rain.

Along with damaging several houses, the heavy rains also made driving dangerous. The Pearl River County sheriff's department reports there were some 25 accidents between noon and midnight Sunday. Most were weather related.

By Steve Phillips

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