Emergency management officials were warning DeSoto County residents to be very mindful of weather and road conditions this weekend.
The already swollen creeks, rivers, and flooded farmland were expected to see significant increases in water levels as forecasts predict additional rainfall through Saturday.
With the rainfall and rising temperatures, the Mid-South Friday afternoon was placed in an Enhanced Risk for the possibility of severe weather as the warm air meets the moisture, causing the potential of severe storms.
Main concerns for the weekend as of Friday afternoon were for flash flooding and damaging winds, especially in North Mississippi, according to the National Weather Service (NWS) office in Memphis.
Strong to severe storms are possible Saturday afternoon and early evening, with a brief tornado or two also possible in the afternoon. The threat for hazardous weather is low beyond mid-evening Saturday, the Weather Service stated, but will include the likelihood of continued flooding.
The NWS did issue a Flash Flood Watch for much of the Mid-South, including DeSoto County, through at least Saturday evening.
At the state level, the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency’s Emergency Operations Center was partially activated to closely monitor the situation.
The DeSoto County Emergency Services Special Operations Response Team has its swift water and flood water response equipment ready for rapid deployment to assist with rescues across North Mississippi.
Hernando DeSoto Park along the Mississippi River was closed earlier in the week as water flowed over the road entrance to the park and made it unsafe to be there with the swollen river water.
As of mid-afternoon Friday, there had been no road closures due to the flooding by the DeSoto County Road Department. However, a quick check of one area prone to flooding, that being Holly Springs Road, found Short Fork Creek swollen near the barriers and water flowing in the ditches and into the adjacent wooded areas and farmland.
The Mississippi Department of Transportation did release information Friday of the expectation that roads in North and Central Mississippi may be closed this weekend through Saturday due to flooding and dangerous conditions.
One area cited was along I-55 near Grenada where crews found flooding near Papermill Road.
MDOT workers are putting out cautionary signage and are continuing to monitor the situation. It was also encouraged that residents get the MDOT Traffic mobile app or visit MDOTtraffic.com for updated road information.
Bob Bakken is Staff Writer for the DeSoto Times-Tribune.