Girl safe after fall into rushing water

Staff Writer

A 7-year-old girl survived a scare Thursday afternoon when she fell into a ditch near White Drive in North Starkville and could not escape rushing water from heavy rainfall.
Starkville Fire Department, Starkville Police Department, Oktibbeha County Sheriff’s Department, Starkville Utilities, Oktibbeha County E-911 and OCH Regional Medical center all responded to the emergency call regarding the child at approximately 4 p.m.
“Her and her 10-year-old sister were walking, she slipped into the culvert and that’s how it started,” SFD Chief Charles Yarbrough said.
After crossing through streets in the ditch, the girl pulled herself out of the water and onto dry land, Yarbrough said. She was treated for minor injuries at the scene, but returned home Thursday afternoon.
OCEMA/E-911 Director Shank Phelps said she crossed Critz Street in the ditch and was eventually found near Briarwood Drive.
Phelps and Yarbrough both urged residents to use extra caution both on foot and in vehicles near flooded roads as heavy rain is forecast for the weekend.
“Water is rising fast right now, so be cautions around ditches and culverts,” Yarbrough said.
Flooding safety tips provided by Phelps include avoiding any areas that are already flooded, never allow children to play around storm drains and ditches and being cautious when driving at night because it is harder to recognize flood dangers.