Weather

South Mississippi under flood warning

A storm system that spawned funnel clouds and dumped heavy rain on South Mississippi also produced lightning that caught a home on fire.

Firefighters prevented heavy flames from spreading to neighboring homes Tuesday night, but couldn't save a two-story brick house on Lake Vista Drive that was struck by lightning. No one was home when the fire started and no injuries were reported.

A flood warning is in effect until Thursday afternoon, according to the National Weather Service.

Most of the flooding has occurred near the Biloxi and Wolf rivers, including several homes along Fisherman Trail.

Rainfall runoff had raised water levels in the Biloxi River to 14.4 feet by 3 p.m. Wednesday. The river was expected to crest at 15.5 feet, then recede by late Thursday morning. At 8:30 a.m. Wednesday, the NWS reported a flood warning for the Wolf River, whose flood stage is 8 feet. The river stood at 8.4 feet at 2:30 p.m. Wednesday, up from 7.1 feet earlier in the day. Anything higher than 8 feet makes Bells Ferry Road impassable, according to NWS. River Road near Three Rivers Road Bridge was closed Wednesday morning by flooding.

"We're putting together a game plan now," Harrison County Emergency Management Director Rupert Lacy said Wednesday. "Roads close to the rivers will be flooded. We're moving barricades now from the flash flooding also."

River levels are expected to recede to their flood stages by Thursday afternoon or Friday morning.

During the storm's peak Tuesday, Harrison Central High School enacted a tornado drill when school officials saw a funnel cloud appear near school grounds.

Students huddled in the hallways until the severe weather ended about 1:30 p.m., but not before another storm cell came in. Principal Averie Bush kept buses about 30 minutes later than their normal departure time.

NWS radar imagery detected rotation in the clouds Wednesday, but there were no reports of a touchdown, Lacy said.

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