Lawrence Co. officials keep eye on weather

Published 6:00 am Monday, February 24, 2003

MONTICELLO — Officials are eying the future and makingpreparations in case conditions should deteriorate, but the town isfaring well against the rising Pearl River and recent rains.

“We’re keeping a close eye on the reservoir (in Jackson) andfuture forecasts,” said Mayor David Nichols, “but we’re makingstandard flooding preparations just in case.”

Those preparations do not include such emergency measures assand bags, he said, but are more in line with crew responses anddrainage.

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“If the rain will hold off today, I think we’ll be OK,” he said.”Some water will run off today. So if it rains tomorrow, we’ll beno worse off.”

Nichols said his office has received no reports of floodingdamage so far.

“Everything seems to be holding up quite well,” he said.”(Atwood Water Park) is full of water, but it looks like the moneywe put into the tennis courts is paying off. They’re abovewater.”

The county, however, is recovering from a weekend of respondingto minor crises, according to District 1 Supervisor CareyHedgepeth.

Roads and bridges were the chief threat, he said, adding thecounty had not had any reports of any private property damage.

Hedgepeth’s primary concern was an area on East Lincoln Roadnear the Carmel-New Hope Road intersection. A mudslide Saturdaymorning lowered the north lane more than a foot and put the road injeopardy of washing away.

“I have put it in for an emergency repair and filled it in withgravel so it’s still open right now, but one more deluge and I’mafraid the whole road will slip,” Hedgepeth said. “If there’s anymore rain we have to close it.”

East Lincoln Road was the most serious damage he has heardreported, Hedgepeth said, but flooding damage on a more minor scaleis widespread.

“I know Billy Joe (Boutwell, District 2 supervisor) had a lot ofculverts and roads blown out because he ordered a lot of culvertsthis weekend,” Hedgepeth said.

Supervisors, too, are keeping a wary eye on the weather andJackson.