Warren Co. declares emergency as roads begin to crumble due to record rainfall

Warren Co. declares emergency as roads begin to crumble due to record rainfall

WARREN CO., Miss. (WLBT) - In Warren County, the record rainfall is forcing road closures, creating infrastructure problems and threatening travel for drivers.

County crews are assessing the damage done to several roads that are in bad shape, all while scrambling to find the funds to fix them.

On Boy Scout Road, the erosion mixed with heavy rain has caused a super-sized hole to form in one resident’s back yard.

County and emergency officials are working together to prevent this from happening in other places

“The 20-plus inches of rain we’ve had since the beginning of the year has created a situation where these soils, fine soils, in Warren County are severely eroding and, so, shoulders and washing away, taking pavement with them, creating dangerous situations on numerous roadways,”

County Engineer Keith O’Keefe said that at least 18 roads are shut down because they are crumbling or unstable.

"It’s a continuing situation and will be for the next two months as we get additional rain. We are in the rainy season. We weren’t expecting to get as much rain as we are getting today, " O’Keefe said.

The rain didn't stop county engineer Keith O'Keefe and other county officials from going out and surveying the extensive damage and adding up how much it will cost to fix.

"Water is coming off the hill and going on the surface itself," said EMA Director John Elfer.

Emergency Management Director John Elfer is part of the assessment team. He says 73 sites have been impacted by the rainfall in some way.

“If we get a federal declaration, which we don’t have yet, there may be some opportunities for some federal funds and we will go after some grant opportunities. The county has a budget for the road department and, unfortunately, this is going to eat a lot of the money up so the funding options of being discussed now,” said Elfer.

Meanwhile, the county has declared an emergency to help get that funding and start the repairs.

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