Mississippi officials in Yazoo County are searching frantically for a 9-year-old girl who disappeared in a flash flood that swept through the area Sunday night. She was reportedly playing in her backyard around 8:00 p.m. when the flood waters took her.
A neighbor said the girl was pulled into a culvert when four to five inches of rain quickly rushed into the area. The little girl was wearing a pink dress and red shoes but she has yet to be identified.
Crew members continue to search culverts and drainage ditches in the area for the flood victim, although Yazoo County Director of Emergency Management, Joey Ward has released a statement saying it is doubtful rescuers will find the girl alive. By Monday morning efforts had been redirected towards search and recovery.
Ward reported that he was told the girl did not know how to swim. The rescue teams are hoping she got trapped or caught by some type of debris, so they can find her as easily as possible.
By early Monday afternoon, the search continued and will be extended until any clues are discovered. Ward reported divers have searched all the culverts and have turned their attention to a large canal, but bad weather in the area continues to complicate the recovery mission. Storms have been smashing all through the region, downing trees, power lines, and upsetting commutes.
Yazoo County is located in the central part of the state. Yazoo became vulnerable to flooding over the last two days while the southeast portion the country has been getting hit by intense weather patterns. Nearly seven inches of rain fell on Mississippi over the weekend, and along with the unfortunate disappearance of the 9-year-old girl, there are reports of a tornado hitting Covington County, MS., at about 2:00 a.m. on Monday, afflicting seven people with minor injuries and damaging a few houses.
Regions of Alabama, Georgia, Florida, and Mississippi were placed under flash flood warnings for all of Monday. Crews in small boats and military trucks rescued dozens of people from their homes in central Alabama where severe thunderstorms had hit. In metro Atlanta, heavy rains had knocked over traffic signals and slowed transportation on the interstates.
In Lilburn, an Atlanta suburb, firefighters were on the scene in an inflatable boat after a car was seen being swept off the road and eventually disappeared into a flooded creek. After a few hours, the driver was found dead inside the automobile.
In many areas, schools have been delayed and roads have been shut down due to mudslides, toppled trees, and blocked passageways. Many home owners throughout the region have reported flood waters up their first floor, entering in over porches and submerging cars in driveways.
At one point over the weekend, Birmingham reported loss of electricity in over 11,000 homes and businesses. By Monday afternoon the number had dropped to around 4,500.
According to authorities, the search for the 9-year-old girl who disappeared in Mississippi’s flash flood will continue despite the hindrances of the calamitous weather in the area.
By Stacy Feder