Some roads closed after Friday deluge

Published 6:00 am Monday, February 24, 2003

As the rain continued to fall steadily over southwestMississippi Friday and early Saturday amidst tornado andthunderstorm warnings, little damage was reported despite dozens ofstreets and several residences being flooded.

“The only storm damage I know of was from flooding. I would saywe had around 60 roads that were flooded in the county and thecity,” said Lincoln County Civil Defense Director CliffordGaley.

The flooding followed a night of heavy downpours Thursday, withfour inches of rain recorded by 7:30 a.m. Friday. Withthunderstorms continuously rolling through the area, rivers,creeks, gullies and ditches in the area overflowed quickly.

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“By midnight Friday we had between 10 and 11 inches of rain atthe office,” said Galey of the rain gauge he keeps at the civildefense station.

That accumulation led to road closures from one end of thecounty to the other, even affecting the movement of trains throughthe area as sections of tracks were covered with water.

Galey said he appreciated all of the calls from citizens, aswell as the assistance of county employees and volunteers whohelped report problem areas.

“All of the county crews and volunteer firefighters got out andtold us where the flooding was and what roads were closed. That wasespecially helpful at night,” he said.

The biggest problem was not the flooding, but the amount ofpeople who drove through the areas with water sometimes rushingover the hoods of their vehicles, said Galey.

“There’s still about 10 roads in the county that are closed andprobably won’t be open until at least Monday,” he said.

Closed roads include Mt. Zion Road, Zimmerman Lane, Hughes Hill,Butler Lane, Big Creek Road, South Washington Street, TopisawDrive, McCullough Road, Pricedale Drive and Somerset Laneintersection, Bethel Road and Harvey Drive.

Those roads were still under deep water even late Saturdayafternoon. Parts of some of the roads had been washed away, whilebridges on Hughes Hill and Zimmerman Lane had sunk more than a footfrom washout underneath.

Galey’s office continued to hear reports of stalled vehicles inflooded areas, even during daylight hours on Saturday.

Some power outages were reported in the Lake Lincoln areaFriday, and sirens sounded between 8 p.m. and 8:35 p.m., warningresidents of potential tornadoes in Lincoln County.

“The National Weather Service radar showed a rotation thatappeared to be a tornado, and they put out a warning,” said Galey.”Thank goodness there was no funnel cloud or anything in LincolnCounty.”

One rotation was spotted on radar six miles east of BogueChitto, and another appeared to be 10 miles southwest ofBrookhaven. A third circulated near East Lincoln Road at theLawrence County line during the same time.