‘I was afraid I might lose everything,’ Oxford homeowner fights rising floodwaters

His story is one of many in Oxford and Lafayette County
Updated: Jun. 9, 2021 at 5:49 PM CDT
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OXFORD, Miss. (WMC) - Jamie Mardis woke up around 7 o’clock Wednesday morning after rain came down almost nonstop over the night.

He got a text from his son’s nurse.

“She said ‘you might want to go close the garage door because it’s coming down pretty good,” Mardis said.

Within the hour, rain flooded the already saturated ground of Mardis’s yard and made its way into the garage and toward the home.

“The water was all the way up to the bottom of the door seal,” he said, pointing at the duct tape barrier he had created to seal his doors shut. “So we started making steps to try and get the furniture up inside and get prepared for the floodwaters inside the house.”

The waters kept rising rapidly, according to Mardis, leaving him with a feeling of hopelessness.

“I was scared. I was afraid I might lose everything I got. You know, this is what I’ve been working for the last ten years, all piled up in this house.”

We mentioned Mardis’s son’s nurse.

Mardis’s four-year-old son, Liam has a rare medical condition, requiring around-the-clock care and tens of thousands of dollars in medical equipment.

All of that equipment is inside the home, all of which can’t get wet.

Fortunately for Mardis, Liam was taken to Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital the night before, and the water never reached the inside of the house.

Flooding was throughout Oxford and Lafayette County.

High water levels even washed parts of roads clean off the map.

“It (rain) blew out some roads, blew out some culverts,” said Joe Bynum, the county Roads Manager, “After it all goes away, we’ll go back and assess everything and start repair work.”

Bynum says his phones have rung off the hook with reports of county roads underwater or washed away, most notably County Road 317

🚧Road Washed Out🚧 County Road 317 is washed out. Please avoid the area. 📸 Credit: Kacey Terrell via Facebook.

Posted by Lafayette County Fire Department on Wednesday, June 9, 2021

The road’s drainage tunnel had disappeared, and Bynum says it will take over a week to replace it.

“In the meantime, we’ll be having all our crews go out and work their area to see what other damage has been done,” he said. “We’ll get these roads opened back up just as quickly as possible.”

The county roads department gets help from first responders who patrol the county roads, but Bynum is also asking residents to do their part in reporting dangerous road conditions as the rains continue.

He and Mardis both are waiting for the rains to eventually pass, and in Mardis’s case, he hopes his home can weather the following storm cells without a drop of water entering his home.

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