Flooding expected to continue along the Pearl

Published 12:32 am Tuesday, March 31, 2009

With more rain expected Tuesday and the Pearl River still rising on Monday, flooding is forecast to increase.

Residents who live along those river, especially in the Walkiah Bluff area, are urged to make preparations or evacuate. Power in that area will be terminated if the water level begins to reach the height where power meters are installed, said Pearl River County Emergency Management Director Danny Manley.

Christopher Bannan, meteorologist with the National Weather Service office in Slidell, La., said Tuesday’s forecast calls for about one to two inches of rain. A one-half-foot increase in some areas is expected, especially in areas where storm water drains. The Pearl River at Bogalusa, La. is expected to crest at 22.2 feet by 7 p.m. Tuesday.

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The NOAA website states that the Pearl River at Pearl River is expected to crest at 19.5 feet by 1 a.m. Thursday. Flood stage for that location is 14 feet.

Due to the flooding on the Pearl River, the Bogue Chitto National Wildlife Refuge will be closed.

Flooding along the Hobolochitto Creek is expected to drop, Bannan said. He said if the rains drop an inch or more, it could rise again, however.

Rains are expected to start Tuesday morning and go on into the afternoon. Wednesday is forecast to be dry, but a light rain may fall in the area on Thursday. There also is a possibility of rain on Saturday, Bannan said. However, if Tuesday’s rain proves to be light, things might get better.

“If we don’t get too much rain fall tomorrow, we may actually see them (river and creek stages) kind of fall,” Brannan said of the watersheds.

Manley said that with the coming rain, the Pearl River is not expected to crest until Thursday. There also is the probability of severe weather forecast for that day for the whole area.

“It’s going to be touchy right now,” Manley said.

Any person who lives near or off a drainage area should be prepared for flooding.

If water in the Walkiah area continues to rise, as it was on Monday, then Coast Electric will be forced to kill the power. Manley said power will remain on for as long as possible.

On Monday, volunteer firefighters with Pine Grove Volunteer Fire Department were checking on the residents of the Walkiah Bluff using flat boats. Residents who were without means of leaving, were advised to evacuate until after the flooding passes.

With waters receding along the Hobolochitto Creek, Beech Street has been reopened, a release from Mississippi Department of Transportation states.