Trailride Evacuated Due to Flooding


The Cross Country Trail Ride in Eminence was evacuated after experiencing flooding around 8:00 pm Sunday evening as the Jacks Fork River spilled over its banks. Flood waters ranged from a few inches to several feet and most of the grounds were submerged. Employee Allen Akers said, “There were probably a thousand or so people evacuated last night.”

The Eminence Area Volunteer Fire Department was first on the scene, with Chief Jim Bay taking charge of the evacuation operation. Most people could get their horse trailers and campers out, but a few came out on foot or horseback, leaving their submerged camps behind. They were directed to the limestone quarry and the two schools for parking overnight, and some found dry ground at the ballpark. Others found room to park on side streets and business parking lots around Eminence, and a few ended their vacations early and headed for home. Everyone had found shelter by around 3:00 am, and the water seemed to be receding.

Many agencies responded, as directed by Chief Bay and the county radio dispatchers. The National Park Service, MSHP Water Patrol, and the Sherriff’s Department brought boats and rescued people off of camper roofs, structures, and even hay bales. The Shannon County First Responders and Mercy EMS dealt with two minor medical issues, luckily there were no major injuries or loss of life, human or horse. There was also assistance by the Eminence Police Department, the Cross Country Trail Ride staff and several local people who stepped up to help. Several local hotels and campgrounds generously offered free lodging, and Williams Fast Stop stayed open late and provided free coffee.

By noon on Monday, people were returning, assessing the damage, cleaning up and even enjoying the horseback riding they came for.

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