Heavy rain causes flooding
Published 10:20 am Tuesday, May 19, 2015
A storm front dumped more than a foot of rain in some parts of southern Warren County Monday, flooding homes, closing roads and stranding motorists.
“The totals tend to be between 9 and 16 inches depending on where you were,” Warren County Emergency Manager John Elfer said.
Most of the heavy rainfall stayed south of Interstate 20. Vicksburg Water Treatment plant on Haining Road recorded 1.46 inches of rain.
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The heaving rain caused flooding of at least five homes in the county including two on Quinola Lane and others in the 4900 block of Halls Ferry Road.
“As much as three feet of water was across the road there. That road was blocked for some time,” Sheriff Martin Pace said.
At least one car was stranded in the high water, and a woman was rescued by deputies and volunteer firefighters.
At 10 a.m. Elijah Griffin and Anthony Harris were bundled up in rain jackets standing across Halls Ferry Road from their homes and wondering if the water would reach inside.
“It’s just nature. You can’t do anything about that,” Griffin said.
Griffin said his home has flooded four times since he moved onto Halls Ferry Road, and Monday’s rain reminded him of Hurricane Katrina.
“When Katrina came through, as hard as the rain was, it didn’t flood. When Rita came though, I flooded then,” Griffin said. “Most of the other times came though it was 2 o’clock at night. You don’t know where to go. In the day time you can at least see where the water is moving,” Griffin said.
Homes flooded in the neighborhood were vacant, Harris and other neighbors said. Some of them had already been raised because of previous flooding caused by an overflowing draining ditch south of Halls Ferry.
“I’m not going to raise my house,” Harris said.
Lurlene Walker’s been lucky in years of flooding. She’s lived in the same home in the 4900 block of Halls Ferry since 1970 and floodwater has never gotten inside the home.
“It does frighten you. I’ve never had water in my house but that doesn’t mean I can’t have it, and it’s pretty scary,” Walker said.
The storm began at about 10 p.m. Sunday causing several vehicle crashes and multiple mudslides, Pace said.
“It appeared that we had significantly more rainfall in the south county than in the north county. The majority of our problems were south of I-20,” Pace said.
The biggest crash during the storm was fatal wreck on Interstate 20 that killed a 55-year-old truck driver.
At about 11:30 p.m. Sunday, a westbound 18-wheeler driven by Randy Jenison of Mount Herman, La., crashed into the median, spilling about 4,000 gallons of motor oil.
The truck struck several trees in the median, Mississippi Highway Safety Patrol spokesman Eric Henry said.
Jenison was pronounced dead of massive trauma after midnight Monday, Warren County Coroner Doug Huskey said.
A private contractor cleaned up the oil spill, though it wasn’t clear how much of the petroleum was lost.
“With all that rain, some of it went downstream,” Elfer said. “They got as much as they could get.”
Additionally mudslides were reported on U.S. 61 South near LeTourneau Road, and trees were reported down across the southern portion of the county, Pace said.