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Lee still bringing rain to South Mississippi

Even though Lee has been downgraded to a depression, the storm is continuing to pelt South Mississippi with rain, flooding streets and swelling rivers.

Flood, flash flood and tornado watches are in effect across the Coast.

Jackson County officials have closed their 24-hour emergency operations center and the Gautier shelter, emergency manager Donald Langham said.

Some roads remain impassable from the rainwater that has accumulated. Drivers should avoid driving through water or around barricades, he said.

Other emergency managers echo that concern.

“The barricade is there for their safety. We don’t want someone to driver through a flooded road,” Harrison County emergency manager Rupert Lacy said.

Drivers also create wakes when they drive through flooded areas, potentially pushing water into homes.

Mississippi Department of Transportation is removing sand on U.S. 90 in Harrison County, bringing additional equipment from Hattiesburg to speed up the task, Lacy said.

In Hancock County, Beach Boulevard remains closed from Sears Avenue to Lakeshore Road, said emergency manager Brian Adam.

All three are watching their county’s rivers, which will probably flood as water from north Mississippi makes its way down.

“The rivers are going to start coming up pretty rapidly,” Langham said. “We’re expecting them (Pascagoula and Escatawpa rivers) to go over the flood stage by the end of the week, but we’re not sure how much yet.”

He said residents who live around flood-prone rivers should make preparations now to evacuate. updates this story as information becomes available.