Pearlington residents keep a wary eye on the river - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Pearlington residents keep a wary eye on the river

Longtime residents of the community say this is the fastest they have ever seen the river move. (Photo source: WLOX) Longtime residents of the community say this is the fastest they have ever seen the river move. (Photo source: WLOX)
According to Pearl River County Emergency Management Services Director Danny Manley, the river crested Sunday night at 22’ 8”. (Photo source: WLOX) According to Pearl River County Emergency Management Services Director Danny Manley, the river crested Sunday night at 22’ 8”. (Photo source: WLOX)
Dozens of people stopped by to take a look at the rising Pearl River. (Photo source: WLOX) Dozens of people stopped by to take a look at the rising Pearl River. (Photo source: WLOX)
PEARLINGTON, MS (WLOX) -

The Pearlington boat launch was a popular gathering place Monday. Dozens came by for a look at the angry water. The rushing river created a makeshift waterfall at the docks.

People are worried, even those who have lived in Pearlington all their lives. One of them is Elbert Walters. 

“Well, I'm a little concerned about it if it gets as high as they say it will, because they've changed all the levees and all that over there. Now, no one knows what that's going to do. It's been 30 years since we've had a flood like this,” Walters recalled.

The predicted crest is 21 feet, seven feet above flood stage, and it's coming fast. Too fast for Chris Bourda. 

“It’s the fastest I've ever seen this river move, ever. We usually watch the tide go the other way, and now you can see debris fly down the river. This is worrying us, because we just live a block away,” Bourda explained.

Road workers are keeping tabs as well. Tommy Mauffray is a Hancock County road foreman. 

“Well, we're just looking at problem areas just to make sure that the water is not coming up and trapping in. We're still hauling sand in at the fire department to make sure they have plenty of sand for sandbags,” Mauffray said. 

When Hurricane Katrina roared through Pearlington more than 10 years ago, it changed the face of this tiny community. It also changed the face of the Pearl River, and that could lead to even more problems, according to longtime resident John Lee. 

“The river, it doesn't hold as much water as it used to, because when Katrina came in, it brought in a lot of mud and the river is not as deep. The deeper the river is, it can hold more water,” Lee explained.

Despite the worry, people who live here display a stoic confidence.

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