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Rising Water Forces Evacuations in Greenville

By Daniel Cherry | Published 03 May 2011 03:53pm | comments

The Mississippi river is already out of its banks in northern Mississippi, but communities downstream will feel the effects in the coming days. MPB's Daniel Cherry reports on evacuation efforts around Greenville.

Along the Mississippi River residents are preparing for near record flood stages. Paul Watson is with the Washington County Board of Supervisors. He says they're already getting those who will leave out of harms way.

"We've got a lot of families that live across the levee on the lake and their houses are being flooded and they're all being moved out as we speak. The power company is turning off the power at 55 feet so they won't be able to stay long."

Some of those living in at risk areas are in raised houses and Larry Miller with the Washington County Emergency Management Agency says about half of the people are staying. Miller says the sheriff's department is getting boats with GPS ready in case someone is in danger.

"If they have an emergency services call to a structure that has someone still in it all they have to do is put that address in that GPS and that GPS will direct them straight to that structure becuase they won't be able to get in there by conventional means."

Miller says he expects many of those to change their minds as the water continues to rise. The Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality is asking those who are evacuating to secure hazardous materials from coming into contact with the river. Miller says most houses in the area have propane tanks.

"There are some that will remain behind and we've asked that they disconnect the tank from service to the home and tether the tank to something solid to where the tank is going to float so be sure that the length of the rope is long enough that it can float up and down with the water levels."

Projections show water will rise to 12 feet over flood stage at Greenville. Daniel Cherry...MPB News.

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