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Rain making damaged roads worse

Heavy rains are wreaking havoc on roads in Lincoln County — and more rain is expected. Southwest Mississippi remains under a flash flood watch through late Thursday night.

Rainfall amounts of 3-5 inches with locally higher amounts will fall on very wet ground, according to the National Weather Service. Flooding of roads, low lying areas and areas with poor drainage is expected. Flooding of rivers will likely be prolonged or increased.

Lincoln County District 3 Supervisor Nolan Williamson said roads in his district and all over the county are in bad shape right now, and the rain is making things worse.

“The asphalt is old and cracking,” Williamson said. “Be careful or slow down on these roads.”

Due to damage on Mallalieu Drive and East Lincoln Road, Williamson and his crew placed cones around large pot holes to prevent drivers from hitting them.

“This is the fourth year in this term and we haven’t had striping or overlaying,” Williamson said. “In the meantime we’ve got to put up with this.”

District 4 Supervisor Eddie Brown said he is experiencing similar problems on his district’s roads.

“Roads are in fair condition, but the rain is doing damage right now which will need patching,” Brown said.

While he hasn’t put out cones to warn drivers of problem spots, he had a crew go out during the weekend to fill holes.

The Pearl River in Monticello was in “minor” flood stage Wednesday. The river is expected to reach 26.6 feet, which is “moderate” flood stage.  At 26.5 feet, flooding occurs near the Hwy. 84 bridge at Atwood Water Park. At 26 feet, water covers Old Hwy. 27 about seven miles north of Monticello near Saint James Missionary Baptist Church.

Gov. Phil Bryant has issued a state of emergency declaration for eight counties hard hit by storms that dumped up to 12 inches of rain in the state last week.

Bryant announced the proclamation Tuesday night on Twitter. The emergency was declared for Clarke, Covington, Forrest, Jasper, Jones, Lauderdale, Perry and Wayne counties.

Bryant said the declaration will help provide state support for the local government response and recovery efforts in those areas.