Weather

Coast floodwaters recede as cold front moves in

TIM ISBELL/SUN HERALDA man and the end of Riverbend Road uses his boat to clean up around his home in Escatawpa on Saturday.
TIM ISBELL/SUN HERALDA man and the end of Riverbend Road uses his boat to clean up around his home in Escatawpa on Saturday.

It seems the worst could be over with regards to recent river flooding in Hancock and Jackson counties, though the Mississippi Coast is still in store for some unusual weather over the next few days.

In Pearlington, the Pearl River, which swelled to 7 feet above its normal 14-foot flood stage last week, was observed at 17.3 feet Saturday morning.

Eight of the town's roads remained heavily flooded Friday morning, but only two were still covered with water as of Saturday afternoon, Hancock County Emergency Manager Brian Adam said.

"It's going down," Adam said, referring to the water. "Right now we only have one street with houses (Riverside Drive) that has a little water on it, and the other -- Napolean Boulevard -- doesn't really have any houses."

Adam said he expects both roadways to be clear by Sunday if the weather holds steady.

The National Weather Service in New Orleans still has a flood warning in effect for the Pearl River due to forecasts of rain Saturday.

"We did a damage assessment with MEMA yesterday, and we don't have any houses affected by the water," Adam said.

The Escatawpa community, which also experienced flooding from the swollen Pascagoula River, is in store for improved conditions as the river height began a slow but steady descent Friday.

Latest observations put the river at 18.03 feet on Saturday, following a downward trend that is expected to continue through the week, Jackson County Emergency Manager Earl Etheridge said.

A total of eight homes in the area were affected by last week's flooding, which put up to 3 feet of water in some houses, Etheridge said.

The improved conditions are largely due to a cold front that moved into South Mississippi on Saturday, an unusual opening for the first official day of spring. Temperatures are expected to bottom out at 38 degrees Monday morning and begin climbing back to springtime norms by Wednesday.

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