Greenwood and Leflore County have both declared a state of emergency following a deluge of rain overnight that has caused widespread flash flooding.
“This is major,” Greenwood Mayor Carolyn McAdams said about the high water, “because we have not had a long enough lull to catch up in the rain.”
The National Weather Service in Jackson is reporting that nearly 7 inches of rain fell between midnight and 10 a.m. Thursday at the Greenwood Leflore Airport, with a possibility of an additional couple of inches to come before the worst of the widespread storm weakens by nightfall. Since Monday morning, more than 9.5 inches of rainfall have been recorded at the airport gauge.
The area is under a flash flood emergency, the highest level warning.
Thomas Winesett, a meteorologist, said the National Weather Service has received reports of homes taking on water along Mississippi 7 between Greenwood and Avalon. McAdams said three homes in Greenwood have reported modest flooding. Fred Randle, Leflore County’s emergency management director, said seven or eight homes in areas outside of Greenwood have reported flooding. He said Cherry Street in the Terrace Gardens subdivision was particularly impacted.
“Everything is full. All the creaks and lakes are full, so the water has really nowhere to go,” he said.
The emergency declarations, which are in effect for at least 30 days, allow public workers to go onto private property to deal with the flooding.
Residents with water in their homes are asked to call City Hall at 662-453-2246 or the county’s emergency management number, 662-299-2600. Public works employees are distributing sandbags where needed.
Motorists also are being urged to stay off flooded roads until the water recedes. The Main Street underpass was closed Thursday morning as was a section of Mississippi 7 between Holcomb and Greenwood, Randle said.
“Don’t attempt to drive through any floodwater. We can’t say that enough,” Winesett said. “You can’t tell if the road is washed out beneath the floodwaters.”
McAdams said some motorists are perilously ignoring the orange cones the city has put out marking areas of especially high water that vehicles need to avoid.
“We have the cones out there for a reason — for their safety,” she said. “If they bypass that and ruin their cars, their insurance is not going to cover it.”
She said the city has turned on all of its flood-control pumps, but with the drainage ditches swollen with water, some of the pumps are providing no relief.
“When we are pumping from one flooded ditch into another flooded ditch, it serves no purpose.”
Ward 1 Councilman Johnny Jennings, during a meeting Thursday called by the council to adopt the emergency declaration, encouraged residents to be patient.
“The whole system is overwhelmed. We’re just doing what we can,” he said.
- Contact Tim Kalich at 581-7243 or firstname.lastname@example.org.