Sunflower River crests, but high waters remain

By MICHAEL BANKS / THE PRESS REGISTER,

It appears the Sunflower River peaked at nearly 22 and a half feet in downtown Clarksdale at about 9 p.m. Sunday before starting a slow withdrawal.

As of 11 a.m. Monday, the river was at 22.35 feet and starting a slow, steady descent, according to the U.S. Geological Survey's river gage located at downtown Clarksdale.

That's good news for Clarksdale and Coahoma County residents who were busy Friday and Saturday filling sandbags and moving belongings to higher ground after some six to eight inches of rain fell within a 36-hour window.

Still, the high waters remain and portions of roads in the county remain closed. A section of Lee Drive, from its intersection with Viney Ridge Road to its intersection with Oakhurst-Stovall Road, was still closed Monday as high water was over the much-traveled highway. Also, water was over Friars Point Road at its intersection with Florence Avenue as both roads were covered with water Monday. 

The high waters were a result of rain that first started falling Tuesday, Feb. 19 and only increased with a daylong rain on Friday, Feb. 22. That large amount of rainfall had a good number of Clarksdale residents, especially those living along Pearson Street, Woodlawn Circle, Confederate Street and the Cypress Creek subdivision, moving furniture Saturday as rising floodwaters from the nearby Sunflower River threatened their homes.

The Coahoma County Search and Rescue Team was activated Saturday and on standby for the flooding. The group was offering a secure warehouse for anyone needing a place to store furniture. Those interested were asked to call David Caudell at 662-902-8831.

William Blackwell had worked from Friday night into Saturday morning filling sandbags as the rising waters from Mill Creek behind his house on Confederate Street crept closer and closer. In 2016, water had gotten into his home and he was hoping that he would not see a repeat this year.

Jim and Nanette Roberts, meanwhile, were trying to corral their three horses from a pasture near the intersection of Lee Drive and Friars Point Road as waters from the Sunflower River continued to swallow the green pasture.

And Bowen Flowers assisted his neighbors who had just gotten home from Dallas to find that Ridgecrest Lane leading to their home was flooded. Flowers put them on his ATV and delivered them to their doorstep through waters that were about two feet in depth.

The Coahoma County High School boys basketball playoff game was cancelled Saturday night and moved to 5 p.m. Monday because of the threatening conditions.

The 10-day forecast shows the next chance for rain for this area coming on Thursday, Feb. 28 when there is a 40 percent chance of showers. The weather is expected to be sunny to partly sunny over the next three days with the rain moving in late Wednesday evening.

 

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