State agencies are positioning resources ahead of Tropical Storm Barry’s arrival

Updated: Jul. 12, 2019 at 8:49 PM CDT
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JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) -Ready and waiting for Barry. That’s the story with state agencies as of Friday. The Mississippi Urban Search and Rescue Task Force has a 24 person water rescue crew that deployed Friday morning.

“We’re anticipating doing some work tomorrow,” said team leader Pierce Clark.

The crew split in half with 12 members pre-positioning in Pike County and the other 12 at Camp Shelby.

“If a local agency, city or county, exhausted the resources they have available, we would respond in those areas," explained Clark. "And what we would do we would respond with usually two boats. One for the primary mission itself and the other one is a safety boat.”

MDOT also has crews on standby for a couple of functions. First, monitoring to see if there is a need to close flooded highways.

“They can present a very dangerous situation, especially at night because even though if it only looks like it’s an inch of water above it that could be, looks are deceiving and flooding situations like that," noted MDOT Public Information Officer Michael Flood. “The road could be washed away completely. We just never know what kind of situation you’re dealing with when you come up to a flooded roadway.”

And then there’s the potential that debris will need to be cleared.

“MDOT personnel are the first responders," said Flood. "The ground get saturated in this kind of storm and with Highwinds they can easily knock over trees. Any trees that block a roadway are going to completely shut it down. So we have crews that are on standby to immediately get out their day or night, chop down these trees, get them out of the way.”

All agencies are preparing for the worst and hoping for the best.

“If they’ve been in these areas before and they know they’ve had flooding in there before, leave now," described Clark. "Don’t wait till it’s too late.”

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