Parts of South Mississippi experienced flash flooding yesterday after a storm system struck in the early hours of Thursday, 28 April, 2016, dumping as much as 10 inches (254mm) of rain in just a few hours.
Gulfport, Biloxi and D’Iberville have been hardest hit. Around 20 homes and businesses have been flooded in Gulfport, where emergency crews carried out over 70 flood rescues. The Red Cross has set up shelters for those evacuated.
Gulfport’s mayor, Billy Hewes, has declared a State of Emergency for the city. In a statement of 28 April, he said:
“With today’s unprecedented weather event, dropping over 10 inches of rain this morning with continued accumulation anticipated over the course of the day, resulting in widespread flooding throughout the City of Gulfport, I am hereby declaring a State of Emergency. Monitoring the storm since early this morning, our crews are at work responding to storm drain blockages, water rescues, road closures, and emergency calls. If you are experiencing or are aware of situations needing critical attention, please call 311 for non-emergencies, and 911 for emergencies. We urge citizens to continue to use extreme caution, and not venture out unless necessary.”
Many residents say that the flood water has since receded. However, there remains a flood threat from swollen rivers and affected areas may not yet be in the clear.
National Weather Service say that flood a warning continues for the Biloxi River Near Lyman affecting Harrison County until late Friday, 29 April. By Thursday evening levels stood at 16.1 feet, well above flood stage of 12 feet. Levels are expected to peak at 17 feet late Friday.
A flood warning continues for the Wolf River above Gulfport, affecting Harrison County, until Saturday afternoon. At 7:00 PM Thursday the stage was 10.0 feet, 2 feet above flood stage. Levels are expected to peak at 15 feet on Saturday, 30 April.
There could also be more heavy rainfall in the next 24 hours. NWS New Orleans said that there would be “one warm and dry day before thunderstorms return Saturday afternoon into Sunday, with heavy rain possible.”