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Swollen rivers jump banks

By Staff
RISING WATERS n Clarke County Sheriff Todd Kemp, right, and Chief Deputy Jeff Harper spent Sunday keeping an eye on the waters of the Chickasawhay River. The water was expected to crest today at about 31 feet in Enterprise. Kemp said he doesn't expect the water to rise high enough to flood homes. Photo by Steve Swogetinsky/The Meridian Star
March 5, 2001
JACKSON (AP) Dry weather is forecast in Mississippi for the next few days, but rivers swollen from almost a week of rain are continuing to rise, the National Weather Service said.
Runoff from a storm that ended early Sunday will fill rivers until Thursday or Friday, causing some flooding, meteorologist Doug Cramer said.
That's about the time the next storm will roll in, Cramer said.
We could have a problem on our hands,'' Cramer said Sunday.
Many rivers around the state had exceeded their banks.
The Pearl River near Jackson is three feet above flood stage and rising, Cramer said. It is expected to crest Thursday, he said.
No serious flood damage has been reported.
Other rivers, such as the Leaf near Hattiesburg, were well past flood stage. Hydrologist Tom Thompson said additional runoff will threaten private property.
If it rises three more feet you'll have some homes flooding,'' Thompson said.
Emergency officials in Forest County watched the Bowie River where it flows into the Leaf near Petal. Several roads were closed Sunday to flooding, officials said.
Both rivers were expected to crest Thursday also.
We have a couple of houses that are within inches of being flooded,'' said Terry Steed, the county emergency director.
The Mississippi, still 10 feet below flood level, could swamp gas and oil wells near its banks in Natchez by Friday, Cramer said.
The Big Black and Yazoo Rivers were also high. The Yalobusha north of Greenwood was a foot over flood stage but had peaked Sunday.
Basically every river in the state is in flood or going in to flood stage,'' Thompson said.
The flooding was brought on by nearly six inches of rain that soaked the Jackson area and much of the state in less than a week. Average precipitation for March is 5.8 inches.
So far, the Weather Service has recorded about five inches for the month, Cramer said.
We're almost at the monthly average in the first four days of March,'' Cramer said.
Wet weather will return to the state Thursday, Cramer said.

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