Jones County flooding the worst in 38 years

JONES COUNTY, MS (WDAM) - Jones County officials say the Tallahala creek crested Friday at the highest point in 38 years at around 21 feet.

A four wheeler and a boat became the way of transportation on Martin Luther King Drive and East 9th Street in Laurel Thursday morning. Residents found themselves stranded on porches while others waded through the water.

Jones County Emergency Director Don McKinnon said the rivers and creeks are reaching their peaks, and many homes could be half way under water by Friday.

"We are going to see water come up.," he said. "Just because the skies are beautiful and blue out there does not mean that this event is over. Just because the water came up in your yard and went back down one time already does not mean that this event is over, we are going to see a second rise."

More than 12 homes in east Laurel have already been evacuated because of high waters on the Tallahala Creek. Some families are refusing to leave. McKinnon said authorities can not force anyone out, but he does not advise anyone to stay.

"It is going to be worst than what we have seen in 20 years," he added. "Pay attention, and do what the officials tell you to do. This is not a game; it is very very serious, and don't go to bed thinking I'll do it tomorrow. You may not have tomorrow to do it."

Jones County is operating under a local state of emergency. Fifteen roads have been confirmed as closed while nine are pending. Mckinnon urges drivers not to drive in low lying areas and to stay away from flood zones.

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