River Levels on the rise in Forrest County

By Kelly Bryant – email | bio

Turn around, don't drown are wise words when dealing with the amount of rain that fell Tuesday night in Forrest County. Emergency Manager, Terry Steed, says his team was up all night taking calls from the public about flooded roads and rapidly rising creeks.

Steed said, "We started getting phone calls at five o'clock yesterday afternoon and got them all night. The volunteer fire departments are excellent in the rural area of getting out and checking on things, if a tree falls, you know, they're right on top of it. We work with the county crews to get that cleared up and when we get a heavy downpour like we had several times last night, they know where the low lying areas, where water will cross the road, and they'll check that out."

6.7 inches of rain fell as of 6pm Tuesday, and adding that to 4 inches measured Saturday, more than 10 inches of rain have fallen in the past seven days, and the rivers definitely felt the extra water weight.

The crest of the Leaf River is set to be at 26 feet by noon Thursday.

The Bouie is forecast to crest at 24 ft, which is 6 feet above it's flood stage.

The Black Creek is usually the biggest threat of quickly rising, currently at 15 feet, but forecast to crest at 22.5 feet by noon Thursday. Steed says the water levels generally do not affect homes and structures, but people living in those areas need to be aware that access roads could likely flood.

He said, "If you live in low lying areas near streams or creeks, just be aware of the water, just remember that these creeks, especially the smaller creeks like Black Creek, can jump up real fast. You don't want to get your vehicle trapped in or get yourself trapped in."

The good news is in the forecast. Sunshine and warmer temperatures are expected for the next few days, which will likely dry out the saturated Pine Belt...that is, until the next big system rolls through.

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