Flooding

Overflow from the Yazoo River creeps up to West Claiborne Avenue on Wednesday afternoon.

Leflore County and Greenwood officials are taking precautionary steps to address possible flooding in light of recent heavy rainfall.

Since Jan. 1, Greenwood has received nearly 14 inches of rain, according to the National Weather Service’s Jackson bureau.

Flooding

Water has begun to pool on streets, such as Grenada Boulevard Extended off Mississippi 7 on Wednesday afternoon. Neighboring bodies of water are dangerously close to the roads.

Of that, 5.6 inches fell from Monday morning through Wednesday afternoon. Another 1 to 2 inches could fall before the storm system clears out Thursday.

The Leflore County Board of Supervisors declared a major state of emergency Tuesday to allow the county to receive additional help for flood prevention as well as the ability to go on private property.

On Wednesday, the city of Greenwood declared its own emergency to allow municipal workers to enter private property to set up sandbags to prevent residential areas from flooding.

Since then, county and city workers have been out distributing sandbags to residents.

Fred Randle, director of emergency management for Leflore County, said Wednesday afternoon that there were no reports of flooded homes in the county. He did say that 10 roads in the county, located in the areas of Itta Bena and Minter City, had been closed.

Floodgates open

The floodgates near Fort Pemberton and Pillow Academy remain open as of Wednesday afternoon.

In Greenwood, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has shut the floodgates near Medallion Drive and Claiborne Avenue Extended to prevent the rising river from backing into the levee system, Jason Overstreet of the Corps said.  

“We’re not seeing anything that gives us major concerns right now,” Overstreet said.

As of Wednesday afternoon, the Yazoo River’s level at Greenwood was 33.79 feet, still short of the 35-foot flood stage.

The Army Corps has closed reservoirs at Sardis, Enid and Grenada lakes in north Mississippi. Overstreet said these reservoirs still have the capacity to take in water.

The floodgates at Poplar Street, Riverside Drive, Cotton Street, Lee Street and Claiborne Avenue have been closed to prevent water from the Yazoo and Tallahatchie rivers from backing up into the pumps, Mayor Carolyn McAdams said.

The mayor also emphasized that residents can help ease the threat of flash flooding by keeping the drainage ditches in front of their homes clean of debris. Otherwise, the debris blocks the water from entering the storm drain.

Though city workers do clean the ditches, it is ultimately the residents’ responsibility, she said.

In February 2019, there were at least 21 reports of flooded homes throughout the county, including three in Greenwood. The Yazoo River’s level at Greenwood reached a peak of 37.21 feet.

In total, the Greenwood area  received 10.36 inches of rain that February, much of which fell during a four-day span.

Contact Gerard Edic at 581-7239 or gedic@gwcommonwealth.com.

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