NEWTON COUNTY, Miss. (WJTV) – Highway 489 in Newton County near Marrow Road will be closed until at least next week, according to leaders with the Mississippi Department of Transportation (MDOT). The highway was washed away due to flooding on Wednesday, August 24.

“Highway 489 is our top priority. We had a roadway washout happen yesterday and completely shut down that roadway due to flooding. The good thing is that we found some dry dirt today that we can back pile and use it. What we have to do now is wait for that area to dry out. If we try to do it while its wet, it can get messy, and it won’t work, and it simply wont repair. It wont take long to get in there and fix it. We’ll get in there and dig it out, add crushed dirt and crushed stone before we pave over it. That will take three days to complete,” explained Michael Flood, MDOT Public Information Officer.

If the area is dry enough, crews could start the work for the repairs on Thursday and into the weekend.

“This is very common when you have significant flooding like this, especially flash flooding. Roadways are not equipped to handle that much water. The soil underneath gets so saturated and so wet, put together with the stream of the water flow, it completely washes out the roadway. That is a major road wash that our crews will be able to repair in house using our materials,” explained Flood.

Some of the other roadways and highways that were affected by Wednesday’s flash flooding include Highway 80 near the Scott and Rankin County line and Interstate 20 East near Forest.

“Avoid all flooded areas. The flood streams can carry a vehicle with it. If you come up on a flooded roadway, remember to turn around and don’t drown. You hear that a lot, but especially this week, those words ring true. If you’re driving at night, be especially cautious. It is harder to recognize these flood conditions. We had some issues yesterday with people trying to cross a barricaded road, and their car was damaged. If your vehicle stalls out in the middle of the flooded highway, you need to abandon it. Seek higher grounds because that rising water can engulf a vehicle and its occupants. It only takes about 12 inches of rushing water to carry away most cars. It only takes two-feet of rushing water can carry away a truck and a SUV,” said Flood.

MDOT started receiving reports about the damage to Highway 489 around 11:30 a.m. on Wednesday. Crews have repaired and reopened several roadways and highways by working overnight.

If you encounter flooding on any roadways, contact your local law enforcement office or MDOT to report any issues.