Downpour causes flooding along roadways

GAUTIER, MS (WLOX) - South Mississippi is two months into the 2013 hurricane season and with hurricane season comes heavy rain. That's why city and county officials are urging residents and motorists to prepare for flooding now.

An influx of tropical moisture created a rainy weekend that started dumping several inches of rain on the Gulf Coast on the Fourth of July.

Gauges in north Gautier totaled 4.3 inches of rain on Saturday. And in Biloxi rainfall totaled 3.5 inches and meteorologists say there's more to come.

Those predications have city and county officials watching for rising water. Gautier Ward 5 councilman Adam Colledge drove around his ward looking for any flooding issues.

"When we get a rain like today [Saturday] we weren't expecting this much heavy rain. It was just a large cell that just kept riding over us. We were looking at the radar this morning and Biloxi was clear," Colledge said.

Luckily, Colledge hasn't received any reports of home flooding in his ward; however, he says he took pictures of significant street flooding. Harrison County Emergency Management agency officials say people need to take precautions anytime there's heavy rain.

"One, if you drive through it, slow your speed. You do not want to start going into heavy duty water and hit your breaks and possibly hydroplane. We've had a lot of wrecks today because of that," Harrison County Emergency Management Director Rupert Lacy said.

Lacy also warns motorists to heed barricades and drive slow through neighborhoods that are experiencing flooding.

"The roads they get kinda flooded right in front of my house. There's water there. A block over it gets kinda high there and down here it gets a little high here. So many it's the roads," Gautier resident Lagrant Hurd said.

"Street flooding is a norm. We consider this a hundred year storm, but of course they've been coming by in six month increments lately. But just be patient" Colledge said.

"We're in hurricane season so as everyone at WLOX has been talking rain. There's tropical rain coming into Florida. The low kinda drifted over. And that's why we're getting the rain that we're getting now. It's tropical moisture. The Gulf is full of moisture. That creates that training effect so people just need to be very cautious that if you don't have a plan you need to have a plan," Lacy said.

Lacy says part of the reason there is flooding is due to natural foliage clogging drains.

"Sometimes people throw yard clippings into these drainage ditches. The more rain the more that that moves," Lacy added.

While city and county official's county to find ways to deal with flooding, they say residents should practice patience and use caution on the roads.

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