Recent rain, snowfall in Miss. causing flooding

Published 11:55 pm Saturday, December 13, 2008

Stormy weather, including the system that surprised much of the state with a rare December snow, has pushed many Mississippi rivers and streams out of their banks.

The National Weather Service has posted numerous flood alerts for swollen river systems but so far the threat has been minor, involving mostly low agricultural lands.

However, officials say some of the swollen streams do threaten roads and camps along river banks.

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Hinds County Emergency Management Director Larry Fisher said the rising Pearl River could cover Rosemary Road east of Terry and send water under elevated cabins in that area. However, he said those living along the river were accustomed to dealing with periods of high water.

Melting snow from Thursday’s storm added to the flooding problems. Several inches of snow fell across central and southern counties and cold temperatures kept the icy blanket around into Friday morning.

Thousands lost pouring the snowstorm and utility crews were still restoring electricity on Friday.

Weather service forecaster Marty Pope said that precipitation totals — rain and snow — over the past 72 hours ranged from up to 6-1/2 inches in some areas along the Pearl River to possibly 8-1/2 inches along the Lower Yazoo River in portions of Sharkey, Issaquena, and western Yazoo counties. He said there were also high water problems along the Big Black River in areas of Attala and Holmes counties.

“And there’s also some minor flooding up in northeast Mississippi, in the Columbus area, along creeks that flow into the Tombigbee River system,” Pope said.

Pope said more rain is possible beginning late in the weekend and into next week. While significant accumulations are not expected, he said an approaching cold front could increase rainfall totals during that period.