High waters at the Tenn-Tom Waterway are getting higher

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GOLDEN TRIANGLE, Miss. (WCBI) – A sunken barge is lodged against a dam in Columbus, creating more problems for people who live north of the dam.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers says a barge broke loose and started going down the Tenn-Tom Waterway. It struck the Stennis Lock and Dam shortly after midnight. Now, it’s at the bottom of the river.

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The sunken barge is preventing the already swollen river from pushing water downstream toward Alabama.

5-10 inches of rain has fallen in the area since Sunday and large pieces of debris are floating in the waterway.

Everyone who lives north of the dam is being asked to prepare for flooding problems.

“Unfortunately, we are getting pretty good at this. As I said, this is going to make three out of three for the last three years. That’s life on the river,” said Clyde Pritchard, river resident.

As old man river rolls in, folks in neighborhoods along the river in Clay County are rolling out.

Cars are being parked near Highway 50, on higher ground, and people moving their boats away from docks.

“They are watching these forecasts. They are watching you guy’s forecast. We have a contact at Aberdeen Lock and Dam. He’s very cooperative about telling us what to expect and what is coming. And you see what’s happening behind us. I mean, they kind of know what to do and when to do it,” said Pritchard.

The corps of engineers says the rain must stop and the waters must recede before the process can begin to remove the barge.

The east bank park is closed at the lock and dam.

The corps of engineers has not released where the barge was docked or who owns the barge.

A runaway barge also hit the dam back in 2016.