County asks to join latest disaster request

A District 1 road crew works to clean out a drainage pipe that eroded and collapsed on Dr. sears Road just north of West Point during Saturday night’s torrential rains. The road could be reopened as early as Wednesday.
Staff Writer

Clay County leaders have asked Gov. Phil Bryant to add the county to his disaster declaration in the wake of deadly storms and torrential rains that claimed a life in nearby Hamilton in Monroe County and sparked widespread flooding across much of the area.
Meanwhile, the county’s new MSWIN radio system passed its first major test with flying colors.

Clay County supervisors approved the local emergency declaration at their meeting Monday and West Point selectmen are expected to do the same. In addition to the local disaster, which allows emergency purchases and other measures, the county asked Bryant to add this and other areas to his designation, which opens the door for more immediate assistance from the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency.

Bryant declared Monroe County a disaster following Saturday night’s tornado that ravaged the Hamilton community, even destroying the town’s volunteer fire department building.

In Clay County, the list of needed financial help is growing, too.

The storm, which dumped between three and five inches of rain on the county in less than two hours, overflowed already swollen creeks, streams and drainage ditches.

One on Dr. Sears Road just east of TVA Road collapsed a worn out drainage pipe, forcing Supervisor Lynn Horton to close the road. Motorists initially removed the barricades, forcing Horton to block the road with a backhoe.

“We had the signs up for people’s safety because the road was caving in and people just moved them, just drove on around,” Horton told fellow supervisors Monday as different members recounted stories of the weekend spent fighting the torrents of rain. “People need to understand we block those roads because there is a danger, it’s for their safety.”

Likewise, Old Tibbee Road leading south out of West Point to the Tibbee community was closed by flooding. Water still covered parts of the road as late as noon Monday.

For more on the story, read Tuesday's Daily Times Leader.