PEARL, Miss. (WLBT) - State emergency officials believe flash flooding and river flooding from Tropical Depression Barry in key areas of the Magnolia State until Monday evening, even as the storm’s remnants have produced far less rainfall than many forecast models projected.
Parts of the Pine Belt, which include the city of Hattiesburg, received up to seven inches of rain, according to the WLBT First Alert Weather Team.
However, with Barry continuing to drift northwest, the major impact many feared is fading.
“Anytime you’re talking about a tropical storm or hurricane, heavy wind damage, you know, lot of trees down, home damage, we’re just not seeing a lot of that," said Ray Coleman, the communications director for the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency.
MEMA officials also expected flooding to impact several southwest Mississippi counties, including Wilkinson, which has been dealing with flooded areas near the Mississippi River since last year.
“We sent some assets from our state’s search-and-rescue team to be pre-positioned in case swift water rescues were necessary. They have not been thus far, so we’re happy about that," Coleman said.
Coleman said staff members have told him some shelters for storm victims are also closing, meaning they’re not needed right now.
However, Mississippi isn’t out of the woods just yet.
“That system is still moving north, and it’s still hitting the Mississippi River, which we’ve seen historic levels of flooding still happening right now," Coleman said. “If you feel like you dodged a bullet, then understand we have more time in the hurricane season. Have those discussions with your family about a family emergency plan, a family evacuation plan, an emergency supply kit. All of these are things you can do at home to be more prepared for a tropical system.”
While Coleman said they expect those flooding threats to end Monday evening, dozens of emergency management experts and volunteers remain on standby in case counties need their assistance.