Rapid rainfall floods buildings and highways in Deep South

Aug 25, 2022, 8:28 AM | Updated: 3:44 pm

PEARL, Miss. (AP) — Large fans hummed noisily Thursday to try to dry out the carpet at The Exchange Church, a day after storms rapidly dumped several inches of rain and pushed water into the one-story brick building in central Mississippi.

Bryant May is lead pastor of the Southern Baptist congregation in the Jackson suburb of Pearl. He said it was the second time in four years the church flooded. The church will conduct online services this weekend, and May said he hopes the building will be in working order soon after that.

“The good news in it is that we have a little bit of experience — that’s good news/bad news — so we have a little bit of a game plan on how to attack it,” May said Thursday.

Weather radar showed heavy rainfall Thursday in parts of Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and in the Florida panhandle.

Several flash flood warnings were issued, and the Mississippi Department of Transportation reported water covering highways Thursday from the central part of the state down to the Gulf Coast. Flowing water washed away part of a state highway in rural Newton County, between Jackson and Meridian.

The National Weather Service predicted the Pearl River near Jackson, Mississippi, will crest early next week at nearly the level it reached during flooding in 2020. Emergency officials said residents in low-lying areas near the river should prepare for the possibility of evacuating in the next several days.

After Wednesday’s deluge caused creeks to overflow, law enforcement officers carried toddlers out of a flooded day care center in Florence, Mississippi, south of Jackson. The Rankin County Sheriff’s Department posted video on Facebook of deputies walking through brown, knee-deep water to take children to an elevated truck, placing them gently on benches.

Rankin County sheriff’s deputies also helped move more than 40 residents out of a flooded nursing home Wednesday in nearby Brandon.

Tony Banks said Thursday that when he returned to his apartment in the Jackson suburb of Flowood after work Wednesday, the parking lot was knee-deep in water. He said a creek overflowed, flooding some cars and trucks. Banks said he caught a fish near the vehicles.

“He was flopping around in the parking lot and I grabbed his mouth,” said Banks, 35. He said he tossed the bass back into the water.

In Alabama, vehicles traveling along flooded roads created boat-like wakes on low-lying Dauphin Island, a popular beach community off the coast, but police said the water was not deep enough Thursday morning to pose a major threat. Flooding was likely across southwestern Alabama through nightfall, forecasters said, and Mississippi temporarily closed a welcome station on Interstate 10 because of flooding.

A few schools around Mobile, Alabama, dismissed early because of flooding or power outages. The National Weather Service said rain was falling at a rate of as much as 3 inches (7.6 centimeters) an hour along the coast, and roads and parking lots were flooded in Foley on the eastern shore of Mobile Bay.

Joy Lester owns a second-hand store in Pearl, Mississippi, near The Exchange Church. She said she will have to throw away most of the couches, dining room sets and inventory that was soaked by flooding.

“All of this is just a waste. It’s got to go,” Lester said as she surveyed the damage Thursday.

Three Mississippi cities set one-day rainfall records Wednesday, the weather service said. Jackson received just over 5 inches (12.7 centimeters), Meridian received 4.6 inches (11.7 centimeters) and Vicksburg received 2.9 inches (7.4 centimeters).

On Wednesday, Jackson also surpassed its previous record for rainfall for the month of August, at 11.57 inches (29.4 centimeters). The previous record for the month was 11.51 inches (29.2 centimeters) in 2008, the weather service said.

The National Weather Service said flooding was expected near several rivers in central and southern Mississippi. The Pearl River was above flood stage in the Jackson area Thursday and was expected to continue rising. That means streams and creeks are unable to drain into the river, and water could threaten homes and businesses.


Associated Press writer Jay Reeves in Birmingham, Alabama, contributed to this report.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


The U.S. Supreme Court is seen, Thursday, Feb. 8, 2024, in Washington. The U.S. Supreme Court has h...

Associated Press

Supreme Court decision on Trump’s election status could come Monday morning

A SCOTUS decision could come Monday in the case about whether Trump can be kicked off the ballot over his efforts to undo his 2020 defeat.

2 days ago

Republican presidential candidate former UN Ambassador Nikki Haley poses for a selfie after speakin...

Associated Press

Nikki Haley wins D.C. Republican primary, her first 2024 victory

Nikki Haley has won the Republican primary in the District of Columbia, notching her first victory of the 2024 campaign.

2 days ago

An Apache group that has fought to protect land it considers sacred from a copper mining project in...

Associated Press

A US appeals court ruling could allow mine development in central Arizona on land sacred to Apaches

An Apache group that has fought to protect land from a copper mining project in central Arizona suffered a significant blow.

2 days ago

On Friday, March 1, 2024, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration said yogurt sold in the U.S. can ma...

Associated Press

Eating yogurt may reduce risk of type 2 diabetes, FDA says

Eating at least two cups of yogurt a week might reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration said.

2 days ago

Arizona will not approve new housing construction on the fast-growing edges of metro Phoenix that r...

Associated Press

Arizona Senate passes plan to manage rural groundwater, but final success is uncertain

A plan to manage rural groundwater passed the Arizona Senate amid concerns about the availability of sufficient water for future generations.

4 days ago

A woman pauses while shopping at a Kohl's store in Clifton, N.J., Jan. 26, 2024. On Thursday, Feb. ...

Associated Press

Federal Reserve’s preferred inflation gauge picked up last month in sign of still-elevated prices

An inflation gauge favored by the Federal Reserve increased in January, the latest sign that the slowdown in U.S. consumer price increases is occurring unevenly from month to month.

5 days ago

Sponsored Articles


Midwestern University

Midwestern University Clinics: transforming health care in the valley

Midwestern University, long a fixture of comprehensive health care education in the West Valley, is also a recognized leader in community health care.


DISC Desert Institute for Spine Care

Sciatica pain is treatable but surgery may be required

Sciatica pain is one of the most common ailments a person can face, and if not taken seriously, it could become one of the most harmful.


Collins Comfort Masters

Here’s 1 way to ensure your family is drinking safe water

Water is maybe one of the most important resources in our lives, and especially if you have kids, you want them to have access to safe water.

Rapid rainfall floods buildings and highways in Deep South