Pearlington residents brace for major flooding from Pearl River - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Pearlington residents brace for major flooding from Pearl River

Kaiser West prepares sand bags that he hopes will protect his grandfather's home in Pearlington. (Photo source: WLOX News) Kaiser West prepares sand bags that he hopes will protect his grandfather's home in Pearlington. (Photo source: WLOX News)
PEARLINGTON, MS (WLOX) -

West Hancock County residents in Pearlington are bracing for another round of pounding. But this time - under clear skies.

Up to seven feet of flood waters from the Pearl River are expected to inundate the area early Monday morning.

Kaiser West and his entire family are pitching in, digging up sand to prepare for the flood.

“Trying to take care of Grandpa, so his house don’t flood,” West said. “Hate to have to work on that again.”

The Dawsey family, of which West is part, has been living in Pearlington for generations. Flooding has been a part of life.

“You expect it here. I expect it. Don’t like it," added West. 

If the Pearl River does crest at 21 feet, emergency management officials say the flooding area will include all low lying areas of Pearlington, and east to Highway 604.

That area is where West’s grandfather, 84-year-old Jack Dawsey, lives. Unlike many homes in the area, his is not on stilts. Sandbagging helped when flooding came through in 1983.

The whole family lives all together here,” Dawsey said. “And I hope it doesn’t get as high as they claim it’s going to get because it might get in their houses, too.”

Flooding is expected sometime after midnight and could affect 100 to 200 residents.

While there have been no mandatory evacuations at this time, the Pearlington Community Center on Highway 604 opened for those needing to evacuate.

Tommy Dean also lives in the area, and spent nine hours on his roof after Katrina roared through. However, he’s not concerned.

“I think when it gets on the other side of Picayune, it’s going to slow down because the river is blocked up a lot up there,” Dean said. 

But Hancock County Emergency Operations Center Director Brian Adam is confident that the warnings aren’t falling on deaf ears.

“They know their locations,” Adam said. “They know where they live. They know exactly when it’s going to flood. So I’m confident that they will heed our warnings.”

Like Justin Hayes, who spent Sunday helping a friend move equipment.

“Hopefully, we’ve got everything off the floor to where it doesn’t mess with it but we wanted to get everything out of the shed so if the water does rise, it doesn’t suck everything back out when it goes down.”

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