Flash flooding watch continues Friday

Published 8:02 pm Thursday, January 2, 2020

Heavy rain is expected to continue today, and local officials are warning drivers to avoid flooded areas. Lincoln County remains under a flash flood watch until noon.

“The normal places that flood probably will,” Lincoln County Civil Defense Director Clifford Galey said. “Turn around. Don’t go through it.”

Meteorologist Janae Elkins with the National Weather Service in Jackson said severe weather is expected through the afternoon and into the evening. Lincoln County could receive up to 5 inches of rain. Elkins said more rain is possible in some areas. Damaging wind gusts are also possible.

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“Just be safe,” Galey said. “Do what’s right so we don’t have to come get you.”

In Brookhaven, the intersection at Fisher and W. Congress streets often floods, as does the intersection at Schwem Avenue and W. Congress. Cohen and Evelyn streets also tend to flood during heavy rainfall. Numerous roads in low-lying areas of the county are prone to flooding.

It takes just 6 inches of fast-moving flood water to knock over an adult. Just 12 inches of rushing water will carry away most cars and 2 feet of rushing water can carry away SUVs and trucks.

A flood warning continues for the Pearl River near Monticello. Thursday morning, the river was at 17 feet. Flood stage is 22 feet and the river is forecast to rise to near 26 feet early Sunday. At 26 feet, water covers Old Hwy. 27 about 7 miles north of town. At 25 feet, water begins to flood lower portions of Cooper’s Ferry Park.

The rain is expected to be gone by Saturday, but cloud cover is expected to make viewing of the year’s first meteor shower difficult.

Meteor shower expected early Saturday

The Quadrantid meteor shower is expected to be viewable over the southern United States late tonight through early Saturday morning, but local astronomy enthusiasts may struggle to get a good view of it. Elkins said the sky was expected to remain overcast until Saturday afternoon.

Local astronomy enthusiast Jerry Case said the Quadrantids are unusual in that there is only a very short window to view the meteor shower.

During its peak, 60 to as many as 200 Quadrantid meteors an hour can be seen under perfect conditions, according to NASA. The Quadrantids are known for fireball meteors. Fireballs are larger explosions of light and color that can persist longer than an average meteor streak, NASA said.

Even during ideal conditions, light pollution makes watching the skies difficult, and astronomy buffs have to find places where the skies are darkest.

“(The Brookhaven Country Club is) the best place within a reasonable distance to drive to — especially if you’re looking north,” Case said.

Case, an Air Force veteran who describes himself as “half retired,” said he doesn’t follow the planets as much anymore as he used to, but he has had a telescope since he was a child.

“I’m certainly not the last word in astronomy around town, but I do try to take advantage of meteor showers,” Case said.

Case said he would love to see the Quadrantids, but he does not expect to be able to see them because of the weather.

“I hope a miracle happens and we get to see it out there.”

The Quadrantids are expected to peak at 2 a.m. Saturday.