JACKSON COUNTY, MS (WLOX) - Jackson County rivers continued to swell on Thursday, spilling well over their banks. The Jackson County Sheriff's Department spent the day patrolling the Pascagoula River.
The patrol focused on the effects of the rushing flood of river water. Deputies Robert Lambeth and Scott Ferguson, who are both familiar with the area, kept their eyes peeled. Among other things, they kept a lookout for boaters traveling along the river at high speeds.
Waves from boats, known as wake, can further damage property. "People that want to get out here and look around, and drive their boats up through here full blast, throw wakes up on the property. That's the folks we're looking for," said Ferguson.
Vacant homes also become an issue during flooding, causing officials to be on high alert. "We see something out of place, we can stop and check it. Mainly we're looking for vandalism, people trying to break into homes," said Lambeth.
Vacancy make homes an ideal spot for burglars. "Most of the camps right now are probably vacant, there's nobody here. That's why we're trying to patrol this area as much as we can," said Ferguson.
While out surveying the area, deputies noticed an open door on a home. "Nose in and hit the siren and see if we can get someone's attention because the door's standing wide open," said Ferguson to Lambeth.
Fortunately, the owners of the property were inside and came out to ease concerns. Several other property owners came out to say hello along the riverbank. While residents are bound their homes unless they have a boat, the impact of flooding doesn't stop with people. Rising water also affects pets and wildlife in the area, forcing them to search for higher water.
Ferguson says he's afraid the worst isn't over. "The high water moves down the river. It's still going to get higher," Ferguson noted.
The patrol also revealed a lot of debris in the water and the deputies warned that boaters should take it slow if traveling on the river.