Train derails after powerful storms hit Mississippi

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Intense storms have brought serious floods to parts of Mississippi, prompting evacuations and washing out roads.

Just outside Brandon, Mississippi, a small city near Jackson, the powerful storms have even caused a train to derail.

During a press conference on Wednesday, Brandon Mayor Butch Lee said that two train cars holding pressurised carbon dioxide had derailed after storm waters washed out part of the bed under the rails.

The trains did not pose a hazard to nearby communities, the mayor added.

Photos show two train cars flipped over and rolled off the tracks, with wheels scattered nearby.

Mr Lee also noted that they had 55 reports of water entering people’s homes during the floods this week. At the press conference, Rankin County Sheriff Bryan Bailey said that more than 100 people had been rescued or evacuated as a result of the floods.

More than 100 children were being evacuated from the Railroad Center Daycare in Florence, Mississippi, the sheriff said.

In addition, more than 40 people were rescued from floodwaters at Peach Tree Village Assisted Living and Rehabilitation, a nursing home in Brandon, according to WLBT News. The centre reportedly filled up with three feet (one metre) of water.

Two derailed pressurized carbon dioxide cars near Brandon, Mississippi (City of Brandon, Mississippi)
Two derailed pressurized carbon dioxide cars near Brandon, Mississippi (City of Brandon, Mississippi)

Officials did not report any injuries or fatalities in Rankin County, which contain Brandon.

But there was some significant damage. The Mississippi Highway Patrol tweeted photos of a road in Newton County that had completely fallen apart in the floods.

In response to those photos, the National Weather Service (NWS) office in Jackson tweeted: “Ever wonder why we talk about not driving through flooded roads? This is just one reason why. The road may have been washed away. If you cannot see the road under all of the water, turn around don’t drown!”

Vicksburg, Jackson and Meridian, Mississippi all set daily rainfall records on Wednesday, according to NWS, with nearly three inches (eight centimetres) in Vicksburg, more than four inches (10 cm) in Meridian and over five inches (12.7 cm) of rain in Jackson.

Continued flash flooding on Thursday and Friday in the area was possible, according to NWS.

Earlier this week, floods hit the Dallas, Texas area, as storms dropped up to 16 in (41 cm) of rain. One woman died as a result.

Floods have been devastating this summer in the US, hitting nearly every corner of the country. In May, floods swept through Yellowstone National Park, forcing the park to close for days. Floods have also swept through Las Vegas, Nevada and St. Louis, Missouri, turning streets into rivers.

Last month, flash floods in eastern Kentucky left at least 38 people dead.

And floods like this are likely to get more common as the climate crisis grows. According to one recent study, as a warmer planet creates more intense storms that can drop a lot of rain all at once, more and more corners of the US could see flash floods over the coming decades.