Supervisors discuss Gordon, bridge funding

Published 7:00 am Wednesday, September 5, 2018

Pearl River County’s Board of Supervisors heard about preparations being made Tuesday morning prior to landfall of what was expected to be a weak hurricane.

Emergency Operations Director Danny Manley said a state of emergency was issued prior to the arrival of Hurricane Gordon.

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Sandbag sites had been established throughout the county in areas that historically flood, including Nicholson and Pine Grove. And swift water rescue teams were staged and ready to respond.

Manley said that the forecast as of Tuesday morning predicted a weak category one hurricane to make landfall along the Mississippi Gulf Coast Tuesday evening.

While the devastation of a stronger hurricane was not expected, Manley said he expected to see downed trees since the ground was already saturated from rainfall over the prior weekend and the wind speeds were expected to be 75 miles per hour. Some of those trees could block roadways.

Another concern was flooding, since the forecast predicted rainfall by as much as 12 inches. Both predictions were for a worst-case scenario.

Road and bridge maintenance across the county is expected to get a boost in funding with the recent decision by the Legislature to provide Internet sales tax funds for that purpose.

However, Les Dungan with Dungan Engineering said receipt of those funds will not take place for about four years.

Dungan praised the historic nature of the Legislature’s decision, but advised the Board to move quickly to have work done now via loan funding, and then repay that expense when the revenue comes in.

His reasoning behind that suggestion was that once the money starts flowing, contractors who can conduct that work will be hard to find since there will be a lot of projects underway. District III Supervisor Hudson Holliday said that since the demand will go up at that point, the price will too.

The Board suggested sending State Senator Angela Hill a list of the bridges that need repairs to get that ball rolling.

In other business, the Board approved a motion to purchase a new washing machine for the jail. County Administrator Adrain Lumpkin said the cost to repair the existing washing machine was estimated to be $4,000, while the cost of a new machine would have been $6,400. The Board unanimously decided to purchase a new machine.

For more on Tuesday’s meeting, see Thursday’s Item.