Picayune residents brace for potential home floods

Picayune residents brace for potential home floods

PICAYUNE, MS (WLOX) - Pearl River County has been inundated with heavy rain and flooded roads.

But even as the storm clouds slowly began to lift Friday afternoon in Picayune, the city could face an even bigger danger overnight.

The water from Boley Creek in Picayune is just feet away from several homes, but it's a puddle compared to what is expected overnight.

Emergency management officials - using Hurricane Isaac in 2012 as a template - are worried that flooding 30 miles north could inundate as many as 230 homes in the city early Saturday morning.

"In the areas we're concerned about, we're going door to door advising the residents that the need to evacuate," said Picayune Fire Chief Keith Brown. "Not a mandatory evacuation, but we're trying to encourage everyone to evacuate."

One of those residents is Jim Meitzler, who has lived on Boley Drive for 33 years.

"I'm concerned about it, but I'm sort of used to it after all these years," said Meitzler, whose house flooded about eight inches in Isaac. "I'm not going to get worried about it until it gets way up here, you know," Meitzler said. "Then I'll start worrying about it. The way they're talking, it may get here. But I'll just pray it doesn't."

Billy Sheffield's house has never flooded, but the long-time resident is concerned about the effects of the heavy rain.

"It hasn't been as bad as Isaac, but what we're worried about is the rainfall from up north coming down this way and pushing everything back," said Sheffield.

Meitzler's next door neighbor, Richard Hayley, is also on the wait-and-see list as floodwaters make their way to his neighborhood.

"We had a lot of problems during Isaac," Hayley said. "It got up to the top rung on the ladder over the pool but it didn't get in the house or anything. We're monitoring it. I don't know if I'm going to go to sleep tonight or not."

Officials expect Boley Creek to begin flooding between 3 a.m. and 5 a.m. Saturday.

In the meantime, the city has been distributing sand bags, and a shelter for those threatened has been established next to Picayune High School.

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