Waves of heavy rain are expected to pummel South Mississippi and the rest of the state through Tuesday night, resulting in flash flooding and hazardous driving conditions.
The heaviest rains are expected Monday and Tuesday when meteorologists predict a weak front will stall across the area, said Rupert Lacy, Harrison County Emergency Management director.
Between two to six additional inches of rainfall are expected, for an estimated total of four to seven inches or higher, Lacy said. Rain is likely to be heavier along the shoreline, he said.
The National Weather Service has predicted 10 to 12 inches of rain in certain spots.
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Sunday’s chance of heavy rain increased from 40 percent by day to 70 percent, according to the National Weather Service in New Orleans/Slidell.
There’s a 70 percent chance of excessive rain Monday, increasing to 90 percent Monday night. Showers could linger through Wednesday.
A flash flood watch has been issued for eight Mississippi counties starting at 7 a.m. Monday through 7 p.m. Tuesday. The counties include Hancock, Harrison, Jackson and Pearl River.
Heavy rain can quickly turn to runoff, which could lead to river flooding problems, Lacy said.
Several areas of South Mississippi reported heavy rain and excessive lightning and thunder as the slow-moving cold front began moving through Saturday.
Larry Ladner and his wife were caught off guard when they realized a tall oak tree by their home had been split and stretched across their yard and onto the road at Jones Street near Anniston Elementary school.
“All of a sudden we hear this roar,” Ladner said. “It had to be some sort of tornadic action. It had to be.”
Other areas have reported tree damages and power lines were reported down on a couple of streets.
A City of Gulfport Water Department detour sign toppled over on Pass Road in Gulfport. It took a team of water and drainage workers to right it.
A Sunday night low of 75 degrees is expected to increase to 79 degrees Monday, bringing an overnight low of 67.
Heavy rain and ponding on roads and highways led to several traffic crashes on the Mississippi Coast on Sunday. One vehicle struck a utility pole. Another struck a concrete barrier on Interstate 10.
Safe driving rules encourage motorists to lower their speeds while driving in rain or on rain-slick roads.
SunHerald.com will be providing updated weather reports as needed.
Sun Herald photojournalist John Fitzhugh contributed to this report.