Washout closes section of U.S. 80

Published 9:03 am Friday, March 11, 2016

Erosion caused by two days of heavy rains has forced Mississippi Department of Transportation officials to shutdown both lanes of a section of U.S. 80 at Thornhill Road to repair a washout that has removed the dirt from under the highway’s westbound lane, Warren County Sheriff Martin Pace said.

“There is just a crust of pavement remaining over that ravine,” he said Friday morning. He said the problem was reported early Friday morning.

The situation is one of several erosion problems caused by the weather as rain continued falling on the Vicksburg/Warren County area Friday morning, dumping 2.56 inches of rain between 6 a.m. Thursday and 6 a.m. Friday for a two-day total of 5.41 inches. The rain is expected to continue through Saturday.

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“We could see 8 inches of rain before this all over,” Warren County Emergency Management Director John Elfer said.

He said the constant rain has caused ponding on some county roads and was responsible Thursday morning for two automobile accidents on Interstate 20 and on Iowa Boulevard. Besides the washout on U.S. 80, the rain has also caused erosion problems on Thompson Lake Road off North Washington Street near U.S. 61 North and Redwood Road of U.S. 61 North.

“We also had a tree fall on a house on Turnerville Road, but there were no injuries,” he said. Trees were also reported down on Jeff Davis Road and in the 4000 block of Jeff Davis Road.

Skipper Whittington, Vicksburg street superintendent, said the problem on Thompson Lake Road occurred Thursday afternoon, and city crews were able to restore it for travel.

“Hopefully, it will hold up and we’ll be able to fully fix it when things dry out,” he said.

Thompson Lake Road is presently down to one lane, Elfer said.

County officials also reported a landslide on U.S. 80 blocking both lanes of traffic, Sheriff Martin Pace said.

In the city, Whittington said Thursday morning roads were open and no problems were reported. He said there were several landslides on North Washington Street, but most of the soil fell into ditches. He said some dirt was on the road, but traffic was not blocked.

“It’s just a lot of rain,” he said.


About John Surratt

John Surratt is a graduate of Louisiana State University with a degree in general studies. He has worked as an editor, reporter and photographer for newspapers in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama. He has been a member of The Vicksburg Post staff since 2011 and covers city government. He and his wife attend St. Paul Catholic Church and he is a member of the Port City Kiwanis Club.

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