Rain, flood waters in the forecast for Lincoln County

Published 9:27 pm Monday, August 28, 2017

Rain is on the way. 

Remnants of Tropical Storm Harvey will make their way to southwest Mississippi today.

The storm continues to hover over Texas and is drifting back into the Gulf of Mexico.

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Since Thursday, parts of southwest Texas have received more than 30 inches of rain and according to meteorologists, 50 inches — slightly over four feet — are not out of the question for Houston once the storm finally leaves that area.

Gov. Phil Bryant received a briefing on the storm from the National Weather Service Monday on a conference call with regional officials. Among them was New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu.

Harvey is heading back into the Gulf of Mexico, but is expected to make landfall in Texas again. From there, meteorologists are unsure which track Harvey will take. Many areas in Mississippi that are prone to flooding could do so.

Bryant said authorities are keeping watch for the flooding and tornadoes that are typically seen with hurricanes and tropical storms.

David Cox, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Jackson, said that residents could see moderate rainfall in the Lincoln County area throughout the week. 

“Based on the current track the storm is on, we’re currently looking at the Brookhaven area to receive four to six inches of rain throughout the week,” Cox said. “Even if the center of the storm is 100 to 150 miles away, you could still see a possibility of strong storms.”

Although severe storms are a possibility, he said that the main concern is for flash flooding. With high temperatures in the low 80s throughout the week, the cooler temperatures lessen the threat for tornadoes or severe weather. 

“We will definitely keep an eye out for tornadoes. You can briefly get some isolated tornadoes in this type of environment, but the flood threat is the main issue,” Cox said.  

The rain will start picking up today and continue throughout Thursday night, he said. 

According to Cox, the current storm tracker has Tropical Storm Harvey moving east towards Beaumont, Texas. It’s currently tracking toward the Shreveport and Monroe, Louisiana, areas. 

“Because the storm is actually moving now, we shouldn’t see anything remotely close to what happened in Houston, mainly because it just stalled over Texas for so long,” Cox said. “We could still see a very quick four to six inches of rain.”

Bryant encouraged Mississippi volunteers to work in coordinated groups if helping with the recovery effort in Texas.

“The worst thing someone could do to find themselves in a second phase of this storm with a large truck full of supplies,” he said at the briefing. “That could not only endanger someone who is self-deploying, but could also put first responders at risk.”

MEMA Director Lee Smithson said Texas has made 20 requests for out-of-state assistance. Those have already been filled.

He cautioned that “Texas can take care of Texas” and that Mississippi should remember there are more storm systems predicted yet by NOAA forecasters during hurricane season.

”If we all go rushing in to help Texas when they haven’t asked for help yet, we’re leaving our citizens very, very vulnerable. Texas does this very well,” he said.