Pearlington residents watch flood waters rise

PEARL RIVER COUNTY, MS (WLOX) - The Pearl River continued to rise Tuesday, covering many streets in Pearlington and threatening the properties of many area residents.

But this is nothing new for the residents of the riverside community, which boast a large number of elevated homes.

Take a close look at the Pearlington welcome sign and you'll see a pair of ducks, which seems appropriate for the flood-prone community.

While the rising water remains a curiousity for some, it is a real concern for many others.

"In 1983, it got higher than what it is now," said Pearlington resident Jack Dawsey. "Oh, we had about a foot of water here. You know, in the house."

Dawsey hopes the sand bag barrier keeps his home dry this time around since the water is creeping ever closer.

"We stayed dry last time," said Dawsey. "We done the same thing. We put sand bags and we stayed dry."

"Lots of streets are flooded. We can barely access Bay St. Louis and anywhere else," said Kaiser West, another area resident. "All the roads leading out of Pearlington are flooded."

Nathaniel Dawsey's horse field is underwater, but the animals were taken care of early in the day.

"We've just had to evacuate everything, the horses and dogs and stuff," said Nathaniel Dawsey. "And it's going to get a lot deeper. For Gustav, we had water all the way up to the bottom of that house."

The rising flood waters leave this section of Pearlington an island of sorts.

"It goes over the dump blocks and there by the Baptist Church, we can't get out," said Nathaniel Dawsey. "We're on a little island. We'll be here, just waiting it out."

Highway 604 is closed in front of the First Southern Baptist Church at Gin Road, as well.

"It's still coming up right now. We don't know how far it's going to come up to," said Ancel Jones. "This is more river-related waters. Most of the rain up north and all is starting to come down south to the gulf."

Jones says about 150 to 200 homes in the Pearlington area are affected by the rising flood waters.

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