Tunica families evacuate homes as Mississippi River rises

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TUNICA COUNTY, Miss. -- Dozens of families packed up and moved out of their homes in Tunica as the mighty Mississippi threatens to reach dangerous flood levels.

Off of Highway 61 sat a community in worry on Wednesday.

"Oh gosh. It's fixing to be bad," Clayton Powell said.

Several people packed boxes and loaded their homes into trucks as the Mississippi River expected to climb to more than 43 feet.

"Right now we're moving out everything out of the houses, everything out of the yards. We're getting everything that's not tied down away from here, so it don't get carried off by the flood," James Sell told WREG.

A trio of hunters crossed the river to Arkansas to grab whatever they could from their deer camp.

Their facility got wiped out when the river flooded in 2011, costing thousands of dollars in repairs.

"Put new installation, new walls up, new couch, new carpet, all that. But this time, it's so quick. It happened so quick," Powell described.

White paint on the trees near the Tunica Cutoff showed how high the water was about four years ago.

Tunica County Emergency officials said they learned a lot from the last flood.

However, not much has changed in how crews are planning to deal with the current flood threat.

"As far as change, the coordinated effort is the same," Randy Stewart, with Tunica County Emergency Operations, said. "The plan is pretty much the same. We got fortunate enough to know this year way ahead of schedule. I believe two or three days ahead of where we were last year."

Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant issued a State of Emergency for the flooding threat as executives with the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency scanned the county for areas that may need help.

"We can't wait," Robert Lathan, the executive director of MEMA, said. "We can't afford to wait until the flooding starts before we start doing things."


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