Mississippi Yards Flood Due to Barge Stuck on Alabama Dam

June 17, 2021

A barge is stuck against a dam in Alabama, causing flooded yards in Mississippi, officials said.

The barge can’t be removed from the Tom Bevill Lock and Dam in Aliceville, Alabama, until the water goes down, Lowndes County Emergency Management Agency Director Cindy Lawrence told The Dispatch.

The barge partly sank and got stuck against the dam about 3 a.m. last Saturday, said Kellis Higginbotham, lock supervisor at Stennis Lock and Dam in Columbus, Mississippi. He said it had broken loose from its moorings at the mouth of the Luxapallila Creek and floated down the Tennessee-Tombigbee Waterway.

It’s restricting flow from two of the dam’s four gates, increasing water levels along the waterway between the two dams, he said. Columbus is about 30 miles north-northwest of Aliceville.

Heavy rains north of Columbus had prompted people on one street with houses raised on 9-foot (2.7-meter) stilts to prepare for floods, moving tractors and other equipment to storage and putting their pets in kennels.

Angie Beatty, who had moved many items from her garage to her second-story patio, said she thought the waterway had crested when she went to bed last Friday.

“We would have been fine and nobody would have had an issue, and then this barge,” Beatty said Saturday morning, as water crept up her driveway and pooled in parts of her front and side yard.

The Lowndes County Emergency Management Agency alerted media Saturday morning and sent some people to warn residents about the rising water. No rescues had been needed, Lowndes County Volunteer Fire Coordinator Neal Austin said.

“I do know that there were a lot of neighbors helping neighbors move stuff to higher ground,” he said.

Rains flooded streets in other parts of Lowndes County last Thursday night and Friday. Parts of central and northern Mississippi were soaked by heavy rainfall starting. The downpour washed out some roads, making travel dangerous.

The state said Monday that it has received reports of damage to 121 homes, 11 businesses and 136 roads, public buildings or public utilities.

One hard-hit area was Tallahatchie County, with reports of 50 damaged homes.

Topics Flood Mississippi Alabama

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