Jackson County officials evacuating flood victims by boat

The Escatawpa River left its banks and on Sunday began flooding homes in low-lying areas near its banks.

By this morning, sheriff's deputies were having to haul trapped residents out by boat.

County Emergency Management officials toured flooded areas with MEMA representatives all day today and estimated 130 to 150 homes flooded in Hurley, Helena and Escatawpa in east Jackson County, including 28 in the St. Martin area of west Jackson County. They have not begun to estimate the number of homes flooded in the Franklin Creek area where the Escatawpa come closest to U.S. 90.

The homes in St. Martin were flooded on Saturday with flash flooding from heavy rains, said Donald Langham, Jackson County Emergency Management director. The issue there was not river flooding, but poor drainage that couldn't handle the volume of rain that fell in a short period of time. That water was out of the homes by Sunday and residents were drying out their belongings today.

In Franklin Creek, a community along a bend in the lower Escatawpa, Sheriff's deputies went in by boat and delivered an elderly, handicapped woman to safety this morning and a family of eight with a 5-day-old baby around noon.

Read more about this story in Tuesday's Sun Herald.