Flooding Concerns Rise

By: Will Harkins Email
By: Will Harkins Email

Enterprise, Miss. With rain continuing to fall and flood waters continuing to rise past what they were forecast to, Clarke County's EMA had to spring into action to make sure everyone stayed safe. Friends and neighbors joined in the help, using boats to check on family.

Eddie Ivy, EMA director, says, "We are monitoring the Chickasawhay River, we are obviously having problems with it coming out of its banks. It’s predicted to crest about 35.5 feet sometime tomorrow, Wednesday this week. We've been in contact with the national weather service as well as the corps of engineers."

The Army Corps of Engineers said it needs to release pressure at Okatibbee Dam so it will open the flood gates to release water at 1200 cubic feet per second, which is the most that can be released by the dam. This won't help the flooding already underway in Clarke County.

Ivy went on to say, "We found out today that Okatibbee Lake is releasing water, which will keep our levels up. It's not going to cause us to go up much more but will keep our levels up for longer. But we'd rather have that than have the dam fail; we would feel the downstream effects of that if it were to occur."

There is a silver lining to be found.

Troy Smith, the District 3 supervisor for Clarke County says, "The good thing about this is we're predicting it to be not as bad as the flood in 2003 where it was at 46 feet, where we are looking at just 35 feet. We don't think it will cause as much damage as it did in 2003."

The river is expected to crest Wednesday afternoon nearly 6 ft higher than the original forecast.


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