Scattered flash flooding was reported along coastal southeast Mississippi on Monday as once-tropical storm Bertha, downgraded to a depression, pushed deeper inland packing heavy rains.
No injuries were reported in Mississippi, but officials in Jackson County, where rainfall totals of up to 7 inches were registered, said at least 15 homes had flood damage. Street flooding was reported in the Moss Point area.
The center of the weather system had reached the McComb area in south-central Mississippi by early afternoon Monday.
During the morning hours Monday, heavy bands of rain moved over much of the same areas of Jackson County before fanning out west and north. While lingering rain prompted flash-flood alerts and caused concern in areas such as Tylertown in Walthall County, accumulations off the coast were generally less than an inch through the early afternoon hours.
Kenny Sanderson, duty officer with the Jackson County Emergency Management office, said most reports of flooded homes were from areas subject to flash flooding.
"We're still assessing the damage and waiting for all this rain to move out,'' said Sanderson. "We still have the possibility of 2 to 3 more inches, possibly more, as this thing moves to the west.''
Sanderson said most of the reports involving flooded homes and street flooding were from the Moss Point area.
"And we've received a couple of calls from Pascagoula and from an unincorporated area up in the county that has had some flooding,'' he said.
Jackson County officials Monday afternoon opened an emergency shelter in Pascagoula as a precaution. Rural areas along the Pascagoula and Escatawpa rivers remained at risk of flooding as rains filled the rivers to the north.
"Right now we're getting mostly light rain,'' Sanderson said.
To the west in Harrison County, Civil Defense spokesman Richard Faul said the area "isn't in too bad a shape right now.'' He said the extensive rains were pushing swollen streams out of their banks and "that could give us some trouble later on.''