JONES CO, (WDAM) - The flood waters impacting parts of Laurel, Ellisville, Sandersville and rural Jones County have begun to subside, but work on response and recovery operations continues for emergency response personnel.
Jones County Emergency Management Agency Executive Director Don McKinnon advises, "We have seen the flood waters crest at 20.73 feet on the Tallahala Creek at Hwy. 15 South and are now beginning to see the flood waters recede which is a blessing to say the least." He adds, "We are still in the response phase and will be entering the recovery phase of this flood event once water levels clear the roadways and we have access to neighborhoods. We will begin preliminary damage assessments on Saturday morning to determine the exact number of residences, businesses and other structures impacted by the flooding. Damage assessment teams from the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency will be assisting our agency in this process."
Residents who have been impacted by flooding are urged to be careful when returning to homes that have been flooded. Residents should ensure that water did not affect electrically powered appliances and make sure pilot lights on natural and propane gas powered appliances are still lit. Flood waters may have carried debris of all types into neighborhoods and residents should exercise caution when picking up and removing debris to avoid injuries.
In addition, floodwaters may have displaced wildlife that sought high ground or shelter and these animals and reptiles may still be staying in place at residences. "If you encounter wildlife that has taken shelter in your home or other structures at your house, do not try to remove them yourself," notes McKinnon. He adds, "Be sure to dial 911 and animal control personnel will be dispatched to handle the situation and remove the animals from your house or property. These wild animals will be frightened and they are likely to protect themselves by biting or striking."