Flooded bridge on Hwy 49 in Stone County needs examination

Flooded bridge on Hwy 49 in Stone County needs examination

PERKINSTON, MS (WLOX) - Many of the back streets and main roads had to be blocked off when the flood waters ran high in Stone County.

Highway 49 in both the north and southbound lanes was not immune to the flooding or road closures.

“We had water over the highway just north of the bridge,” said Kelly Castleberry, the District 6 Engineer for the Mississippi Department of Transportation.

Traffic had to be re-routed to other areas of the county to not risk drivers going across the bridge.

“Right now, they are both in pressure flow,” Castleberry said.

Every bridge has some space underneath between the bridge and the ground. Pressure flow happens when the water has risen so high and is now being forced between that opening.

“When the water secedes a little bit, we will have our crews actually come in and evaluate those structures and make sure they are still safe to travel over,” Castleberry said.

They would check to make sure soil hadn’t washed away from underneath the structure’s foundation.

Saying when it opens may not be an easy call to make. Castleberry did not have an estimated timeline on the project.

The MDOT engineers said they’ve handled bridges flooded on a scale like this before.

Castleberry said situations like this “happen when you have a significant amount of rainfall in a small watershed.”

The top priority on every first responder’s mind in the county is safety.

Turn around. Don’t drown.

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