LAFAYETTE COUNTY, Miss. — Days of rain across the Mid-South has shut down roads, lead to water main breaks and dam failures, and trapped people in their homes as water continues to rise.
Northwestern Lafayette County is under a flash flood warning until 7:30 p.m. Saturday after nearly two inches of rain came down overnight, nearly bursting a dam in the Northpointe subdivision.
“The levee is beginning to fail,” said Lafayette County Emergency Management Director Steve Quarles “We started trying to shut down the road that goes below that dam.”
Flooding caused two water main breaks that put the city of Oxford under a boil water notice, left some people completely without water and forced the Mississippi Department of Transportation to close saturated roads.
“There’s a whole lot of water everywhere,” said Matt Wiggins, who was visiting the area from Cleveland, Mississippi.
Many drivers had to turn around when they noticed the roads they needed were closed, while others found creative ways to get around, using 4-wheelers to get through the mess.
And some people ended up trapped in their homes.
“A lot of the effort of the county today’s been trying to make sure if there was emergency needs in that area, we could take care of them,” Quarles said. “We had a high-water vehicle we crossed that area to and had EMTS available to help those individuals.”
One house WREG crews spotted Saturday looked like it was in the middle of a lake, with it’s driveway totally underwater.
“There’s problems all around the county with different road closures, but luckily, we haven’t had that many homes being impacted,” Quarles said.
And water completely surrounded a construction business on MS 328, a half mile west of MS 7 and County Road 321.
MDOT crews rushed to fill a giant crater left behind after water nearly washed out an exit ramp on Highway 6 West, and they could see another inch of rain tonight.
“Tonight I don’t care. I’ll be in a place with a roof,” Wiggins said.
And that’s exactly what experts hope you’ll do – stay inside – and never drive over a flooded road.
“They say turn around, don’t drown. And that’s what I say as well,” Quarles said.
Oxford city officials fixed one water main break, but are still trying to find the second.
People who get their water from the city, even if they live outside city limits, are under a boil water notice until that water main break can be repaired.