Wayne County officials urge residents near river to evacuate

WAYNE COUNTY, Miss. (WHLT) — Wayne County officials say Tropical Depression Cindy has been a challenge for them. The city of Waynesboro sits in the middle of the county like “like a bowl” according to emergency management.

Water levels at the Chickasawhay River in Wayne County continue to rise.

This is a concern for officials because they say some residents in the area may have to evacuate come Sunday.

The amount of rainfall on top of the rain we’ve received over the last couple of months have exacerbated the ability for the local tributaries, streams, creeks and rivers to handle,” said Sean Dunlap with Wayne County Emergency Management Agency.

He adds that in rural counties farm ponds can also cause problems to roads, “We’ve already lost one dam overnight. Which is contributed to washing out at least one public road. We have another dam breach in progress which could wash out another one to two roads in the community.”

Thursday afternoon the Chickasawhay River sat at 27 feet. Officials expect it will real 30 feet by Friday.

“At this point residents should have an evacuation plan,” said Dunlap. “Be prepared to move to higher ground to do what’s necessary to protect life and property.”

One resident who has lived near the river for about four months say she does not plan to leave her home.

“No, I don’t,” said Mary Louis Hayes. “It ain’t never been that high around here, not around here.”

If Hayes and her family do decide to evacuate, there is no shelter in Waynesboro for them to go to.

“We do not have plans to open one at this time,” said Dunlap. “We encourage them to go to friends or family member’s homes who live on a higher level.”

“I got some aunties and sisters and brother to live with,” said Louis.

The river is expected to reach around 39 feet by Sunday.

The Great Chickasawhay River Race was scheduled for this Saturday but because of weather conditions, it is moved to Saturday, July 15th.

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