First responders worked through the night rescuing people in Pearl River County and northern Harrison County after storms dumped inches of rain and swelled waterways, officials say.
Rainfall since Friday morning has exceeded 6 to 10 inches in the region, the National Weather Service in New Orleans said, possibly as high as 11 to 15 inches in some locations in northern Pearl River County.
Flood warnings have been issued for rivers in northwestern Harrison County, northeastern Hancock County and east central Pearl River County. Major flooding was occurring along the Wolf and Biloxi Rivers through Pearl River, Hancock and Harrison counties.
One man was clinging to a tree when he was rescued, Harrison County Fire Chief Pat Sullivan said, after the man drove into flood waters and his car was swept off Pete Hickman Road.
Another man and his 4-year-old child were rescued from the roof of their submerged pickup truck off of Saucier-Lizana Rd.
Harrison County Fire and Rescue and sheriff’s department personnel performed overnight rescues in the Saucier area, along with the state Department of Marine Resources and fire departments from Saucier, Biloxi and Gulfport, who all provided boats and manpower.
No one rescued was injured, Sullivan said.
On Friday, a train derailed in Pearl River County after the track was damaged by floodwaters, the Associated Press reported.
The U.S. Coast Guard also rescued two men and three dogs near Poplarville. The Pearl River County Sheriff’s Office reported at approximately 2:10 a.m. that two men and three dogs were stranded in a vehicle on the McNeill McHenry Ville Highway overpass. Coast Guard personnel were able to rescue them about 4:30 a.m.
“We faced torrential rain, lightning and low visibility but, thanks to our training, we were able to safely transport the two men and the dogs to safety,” said Petty Officer 3rd Class Johannel Mejia, an aviation maintenance technician at Air Station New Orleans.
All the first responders are asking everyone to, “turn around, don’t drown.” If a road is flooded, or warning signs have been posted, then don’t go around the posted signs and attempt to drive through the flood waters, Sullivan said.
Part of U.S. 49 at Red Creek in Stone County, south of Wiggins, was closed early Sunday for flooding but reopened after 6 p.m., the Mississippi Highway Patrol said, along with Mississippi 26 between Interstate 59 and U.S. 49.
Three Rivers Road at River Road is closed, the Gulfport Police Department tweeted Sunday evening.
The area of John Road east to Mississippi 605 and from Three Rivers Road south to O’Neal Road including River Road and South River Road on the east side of 605. These areas are heavily flooded. The City of Gulfport Public Works Department is asking all residents in the area to avoid all flooded roads. Barricades have been placed at the following roads in Biloxi River Estates: Bonnie, Belinda, Boles, Curtis, and Sheldon.
- Biloxi River at Three Rivers is forecast to crest at 19.5 feet, with flood stage at 12 feet.
- Biloxi River at Wortham crested at 26.7 feet Sunday with flood stage at 16 feet.
- Tchoutacabouffa River at Lamey Bridge is forecast to crest at 12.5 feet early Monday, with flood stage at 8 feet.
- Wolf River at Bells Ferry is forecast to crest at 13.5 feet Tuesday, with flood stage at 8 feet.
Pearl River County
- West Hobolochitto Creek near McNeill is forecast to crest at 23 feet Sunday, with flood stage at 15 feet. Forecast to fall below flood stage by Wednesday.
- East Hobolochitto Creek near Caesar is forecast to rise above flood stage (12 feet) Sunday and crest at 18 feet by Monday morning.
Stone and George counties
The weather service said Sunday morning that water levels near creeks and rivers continued to rise, particularly along Red Creek in Stone and George counties. U.S. 49 remains closed south of Wiggins. Water levels near Vestry in southwest George County also continue to rise as water makes its way downstream.
- Pascagoula River at Graham Ferry forecast to rise above flood stage (12 feet) by Tuesday and crest at 17.5 feet by May 19.
- Pascagoula River at Merrill forecast to rise above flood stage (22 feet) by Monday afternoon and crest at 24 feet by Friday morning
The Pearl River near Bogalusa, Louisiana, was above flood stage (18 feet) Sunday at 21 feet, expected to crest at 21.5 feet by Thursday.