Clay County residents along Tombigbee River evacuate


CLAY COUNTY, Miss. (WCBI) – The search for higher ground has carried over into Clay County.

Residents along HWY 50 near the Tombigbee River bridge evacuated after floodwaters threatened to invade their homes.

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Todd Sanders has lived in this house for more than thirty years.

He’s no stranger to rising river water.

“We skied on highway 50 in the 70s,” said Sanders.

He said flooding reached a record high during February of 2019.

“It got four feet higher than what it is now, last year, so it went in the house… About 18 inches,” said Sanders.

“The mud was everywhere in there. So, then you had to go back and clean all that up after it was over with. We’re hoping and praying it don’t come in this time,” said Rhonda Smith.

That clean up came at a price.

“Probably $10,000,” said Sanders.

That wasn’t the only surprise.

“When we opened the door and went to cleaning everything out, there was a fish in the house,” said Smith.

Rhonda Smith also lives here. If things get worse, the couple said they have a plan of action.

“This year, luckily we’ve gotten prepared a little better. So, we’ve got the furniture up on blocks, the bed up on blocks, the refrigerator up on blocks. Everything is on top of the bed, the couch, the tables,” said Smith.

No good plan is complete without the perfect get-away car.

“That’s what we use to go to the highway and back,” said Sanders as he motioned towards the Batmobile boat labeled “Caped Crusader.”

“We’re keeping our fingers cross that the water doesn’t come back after the river crests, but if it comes in, we’ll be misplaced for about a week or so,” said Smith.

The couple said they are currently staying in a hotel and checking on their house every day.