Wayne county officials urging residents to take higher ground, water rising

WAYNE COUNTY, MS. - Tropical Depression Cindy is causing water levels to rise in parts of South Mississippi.

Wayne County officials said they are receiving a lot of rainfall and are urging residents living by the water to take higher ground.

“The amount of rainfall on top of the amount of rain we have received over the last couple of months have exacerbated the ability for the local tributaries, creeks, rivers, to handle the water" said Joseph Dunlap Wayne County Public Information Officer.

Dunlap said Waynesboro sits in the middle of Wayne County like a "bowl" and officials said they are trying to keep up with draining out all the incoming water.

"We already lost one dam overnight, which has contributed to washing out one public road, we have another dam in progress that could wash out two roads in the community" he said.

The county's main concern is the Chickasawhay River and Buckatunna Creek. Dunlap said water levels are rising quickly.

The Chickasawhay River is currently at 27 feet and officials expect water levels to rise at 39 feet by Sunday.

Dunlap said residents should evacuate around 30 feet and have a plan. Mary Louis Hayes has lived by the Chickasawhay River for the last four months and she said she is not leaving.

“No I do not have no problem” said Hayes. She added, “It ain’t ever been around that high, not around here.”

Waynesboro does not have a storm shelter for its residents.

“We do not expect this to be a long flood event" said Dunlap. He added, "But we want to do is try to encourage families to stay with friends. We do not have a shelter in our community, and we do not have plans to open one at this time.”

The Great Chickasawhay River Race was schedule for this Saturday, but due to the water levels rising it has been rescheduled for July 15.

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