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Heavy rain pummels Mississippi, causing flooding and forcing evacuations

Dozens of residents at the Peach Tree Village nursing home in Brandon had to be moved because of the heavy rain.
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Heavy rain and flooding wreaked havoc in central and southern Mississippi on Wednesday, closing roads and schools and prompting a rescue at an assisted-living facility.

Wednesday was the third straight day of rain in the area, and flash flood warnings were in effect for several areas from Jackson, the state capital, to Meridian and southward to Laurel and Prentiss.

Jackson, Meridian, Laurel, Hattiesburg and other communities were under an “elevated threat” Wednesday afternoon that included warnings of up to 2 inches of additional rain, with some structures possibly facing inundation and minor to moderate river flooding possible, according to the National Weather Service.

Drone video in Canton, about 30 miles north of Jackson, showed water up to vehicles’ hoods, along with many submerged road signs and mailboxes. The Canton Public School District closed early because of flooding and impassable roads.

Rankin County Sheriff Bryan Bailey said in a statement that 42 residents were rescued from Peach Tree Village, a nursing home in Brandon, and that 19 of them were taken to a safe room in the sheriff’s office to get clothes and hot food.

The sheriff’s office responded to 50 calls about flooding or people needing assistance. A woman in a wheelchair was rescued on an airboat, Bailey said.

On Thursday, the National Weather Service said there could be limited threats of flooding in communities such as Jackson, Meridian and Laurel, where 2 or 3 inches of rain is possible in less than 3 hours.