It was like watching a segment of the evening news as townspeople rushed to fill sandbags and block rising floodwaters from Sipsey Creek south of Sevastopol. Only it was an evening news segment, and townspeople rallied to save the home of Sevastopol Police Chief Justin McDill and his family last Wednesday night as flash flooding from the creek crossed Highway 21 and climbed rapidly towards the house. .
By Thursday morning, the floodwaters had receded and a sign placed in a pile of sand at the end of McDill Lane read, “We Saved It – Thank the Lord and Thank You!”
Sebastopol, Small Town, Big Heart, lived up to the motto.
Heavy rains inundated most of Mississippi early last week and continued into Wednesday morning, where roads and highways throughout Scott County were quickly covered in floodwaters, including the intersection of highways 35 and 80 that surprised many drivers as they plunged into water on their daily commute. Many roads remained closed at noon and others were passable but very dangerous. Areas of Highway 21 between Forest and Sebastopol were under water, and flash flooding at Lee’s Steakhouse filled the restaurant and surrounding area as it rushed down the highway. Historic flood water also entered Faye’s accounting department and heavy rains caused large potholes to form on the highway, further complicating driving conditions.
In Forest, several neighborhoods like Sanders Street and Banks Street reported flooded construction sites late Wednesday morning and the Scott County Sheriff’s Department, Forest Police Department and Sebastopol Mayor Greg McGarrity turned to to social media to encourage residents not to drive unless absolutely necessary until the flood waters have subsided.
To make matters worse in Forest and Morton, flooding on Interstate 20 between the two towns closed that major highway and traffic was diverted to Interstate 80. At 10:38 a.m. Wednesday morning, the Mississippi Department of Transportation issued a flash flood emergency for parts of Scott County. “especially for the region of Morton in Forest.”
The Jackson National Weather Service reported up to seven inches of rain or more fell on northern portions of the county in a sorted time frame Wednesday morning and the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency reported that the state had recorded record rainfall, with some areas receiving 14 inches. of rain within 72 hours.