YAZOO CITY, Miss. (WJTV) – The Mississippi Department of Transportation reopened several roads that were flooded earlier this year. This includes State Route 465 in Warren and Issaquena Counties, which reopened on August 15.
MDOT issued the following news release:
“We have seen flooding along these routes before, but nothing to this extent,” said District Engineer Kevin Magee. “I’m not sure anyone has seen this type of flooding before.”
Beyond the typical flash floods that come with heavy rainfall, MDOT District 3 crews experienced several types of flooding issues at the same time, including Mississippi River backwater flooding, Yazoo River flooding and Steele Bayou backwater flooding. District crews worked tirelessly to monitor flood conditions and coordinate with local officials to assess road closures in affected areas.
After being saturated for such a long period of time, there are several things MDOT crews must do before deeming a road safe for travel. Aside from debris removal, other critical activities must take place such as road and bridge inspections, cross-drain inspections and roadway repairs. Saturated pavements and embankments also need sufficient time to properly drain.
As floodwaters receded, MDOT crews performed all of the required actions to safely reconnect people in the Eagle Lake community. Although flood related damage was found there was nothing beyond the point of repair. The overall damage was less severe than expected.
“It turns out the duration of the flood overall was not as big of a factor in the damage as one might think,” said Magee. “That is what we learned from this one. We would’ve had about the same amount of damage had the flood lasted a week or two instead of six months.”
Although all formerly flooded state roadways are open for travel, MDOT’s recovery efforts are not finished.
“Our work isn’t done by a long shot,” said Magee. “We still have much debris removal to accomplish in the Eagle Lake area and permanent repairs to make on slides and cross drains. We will be working on those things on and off for the rest of the year.”
Officials are confident all remaining work can be taken care of without requiring road closures.
“We appreciate the cooperation and patience of the flood victims while we worked to get them reconnected safely,” said MDOT Executive Director Melinda McGrath. “This was a slow moving disaster and our crews are experienced enough to efficiently work the problems in order to reopen roads to traffic.”