Resources available, flood watch in effect through weekend
After heavy rains caused Greenville to experience flooding Thursday, Greenville City Council called a special meeting to authorize a request to the governor declaring a state of emergency for Greenville.
For local government to receive funds as a result of natural disasters, declarations of emergency are issued to begin the process.
Assesments and reporting damages after the disaster is an integral part of the success of local governments pursuit of disaster assistance.
David Burford, Washington County Director of Emergency Management said the amount of damage reported affects funding and assistance.
“Residents, businesses and government agencies all need to report damages because there may be funding assistance to help with repairs,” Burford said.
“We have a county threshold and a state threshold we have to meet to get federal assistance to help with damages,” he continued. “If you don’t report it, it cant be counted toward the threshold and we miss out on money and can’t help anyone.”
Damages that can be reported include flooding inside your home or business, damage from high winds or both, during the severe storms and flash flooding May 8-9.
County residents should report damage by calling 662-335-1945 Monday-Friday 8a.m.-5p.m.
The report will include the individual or business name, address, phone number and the type of damage received
Calls may be received on Saturday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and will resume Monday..
Those inside Greenville city limits should call 662-335-1945 or 662-378-1534 or 662-378-1697 to report damages.
The city’s report lines will also be open 8 a.m.- 5 p.m. Saturday, closed Sunday and resume Monday.
Burford did not have preliminary counts of households affected by flooding at press time Friday afternoon.
“Right now, all we know is a lot of people have flooded homes and damages, Burford said. “Neighborhoods and streets that do not have a history of flooding were underwater Thursday.”
In addition to reporting damages, resources to protect structures, shelter residents and assists with basic needs are also available.
The Office of Emergency Management in partnership with the City of Greenville are distributing resource information:
Sand and Sand Bags
• City of Greenville Residents can pick up at 502 Mill Road, Greenville
• Arcola Residents can pick up at Fire Station in Arcola
• County, Hollandale, Leland and Metcalfe residents can pick up at the County Shop, 3114 County Shop Road in Greenville and behind the Washington County Expo Building, 1040 S Raceway Road.
Flood Cleanup Kits
Flood cleanup kits will be available for pickup at the Greenville Central Fire Station, 532 Central Street, Greenville, MS 38701 (662) 378-1616. The flood cleanup kits will be made available today at noon on a first come basis while supplies last.
Contaminated Flood Waters
Treat all flood waters as if contaminated. Stay out of Flood Waters if possible, wear rubber boots and other protective clothing to keep flood waters from coming into contact with the skin. Thoroughly clean anything that comes in contact with flood waters.
Mayor Errick D. Simmons said it is imperative residents be cautious.
“Given the amount of rainfall in short period of time, we are asking all residents to be patient and know the city is doing all we can do to provide the necessary assistance to all residents,” Simmons said noting he, the city council and emergency essential staff began working to assess and address issues at 6 a.m. Thursday.
According to the mayor’s office all operational pumps are working and public works crews are out cleaning drains and preparing sandbags.
The Greenville fire and police departments began working early Thursday as well by assisting with flooded vehicles and homes.
Residents needing assistance vacating flooded homes or issues with flooded vehicles are advised to call 911.
“Be safe, as safety is first,” Simmons said in a statement. “Please so not drive in flooded areas, as flood waters can be deceiving.”
Nearly a half foot, 5.93 inches, of rain fell overnight Wednesday causing residents to face the difficulties that accompany flash flooding.
Thursday morning school districts made decisions to postpone or delay start times, many businesses closed and several neighborhoods experienced sewage issues and several cars in Greenville were observed stalled in high-water.
The flash flood watch issued by the National Weather Service remains in effect through 7 p.m. Saturday for Washington and Bolivar counties, Ashley and Chicot counties in Arkansas and Morehouse Parish in Louisiana.
Periods of thunderstorms with very heavy rainfall rates could produce several additional inches of rainfall in a short period of time leading to rapid runoff and flash flooding, according to the NWS.