Rain brings flooding, road closings

Published 5:48 pm Friday, January 11, 2013

Storms that rolled through Southwest Mississippi Thursday pelted Franklin County with rain, flooding roads and homes.

     Franklin County Civil Defense Director Mark Thornton said his water gauge in Bude collected 5.8 inches of water Thursday. Roads closed in Franklin county included State Route 556, Meadville Gloster Road and Davis Hill Road.

     “We had roads under water all over the county,” Thornton said.

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     Based on the information he’s received, Thornton indicated all roads had reopened Friday.

     At least one home on Oldenburg Road suffered some flooding, with about 4 inches of water in the house.

     At least two businesses received some flooding that Thornton knew of, Marshall Funeral Home and the Franklin Water Association, both in Bude.

     A bakery in Bude, Sweet Delights, also had high waters.

     Franklin County Schools pushed school times back one hour on Friday to ensure the safety of buses on the roads. Many Franklin County school buses have to leave before dark and Thornton said he and school administrators weren’t sure whether roads would be clear yet.

     “We made the decision to start an hour later so all the buses would be on the road at daylight,” Thornton said.

     The passengers of at least one vehicle had a close call Thursday.

     “Davis Hill Road was under water pretty much all day,” Thornton said. “We also had one care drive off in it.”

     Once water began to rise in the vehicle, Thornton said the two occupants got out of the car.

     However, the 85-year-old male occupant was swept away in the water, which eventually reached up to the seats of the car, Thornton said. Emergency workers located him about a half hour later.

     “We found him in the water hanging onto a fence,” Thornton said.

     The man insisted he was in good health.

     “He was in good spirits, said just to take him home,” Thornton said.

     An ambulance did transport him to the hospital in Meadville.

     Emergency crews also rescued a family from a mobile home near the intersection of Highway 84 and Highway 98.

     “The water had gotten up around their trailer,” Thornton said.

     Beyond these incidents, Thornton said there were no traffic accidents or injuries occurring on Thursday.

     In the aftermath of Thursday’s flooding, Thornton said county crews were checking the roads on Friday.

     “We may wind up with some more roads closed,” he said. “I’m sure they will find some washouts.”

     Rain has become a common event in Franklin County. Thornton said since Christmas Day, he’s recorded 16 inches of water in Bude.

     “We’ve been wet,” Thornton said.