YAZOO CITY, Miss.–The lesson from what happened during Sunday’s flash flooding in Yazoo City may be that if you have kids, watch them closely and keep them inside during flash flood situations. The body of 9-year-old Petrauma Hudson was found Monday evening about 7 after a two-day search.
Though efforts from local and regional volunteer dive teams did not turn her body up, WLBT reported it was a group of young men from the neighborhood who found her body submerged in water near an apartment complex.
The men told the TV station they were determined to find her and walked the canal until one of them felt something under his feet, which turned out to be the little girl’s body.
“They were playing in the backyard,” said Joey Ward, Yazoo’s emergency management director, at a Monday news conference. “And that area is an area that customarily floods.”
Hudson went missing Sunday night, just after 7, as Yazoo got about five inches of rain that translated into serious flash flooding all over town.
“The sister noticed her disappear into the water and a short time later someone did verify seeing her go under and into the culvert.”
Ward said that’s when rescue teams were called in and later that evening it became apparent that the girl would not be found alive.
“It’s a sad thing, but that area floods regularly, and the kids very often will get out and play in the water. It just wasn’t the best choice this time.”
Ward met with residents in the area where the search was going on Monday as News Mississippi observed. Some were asking why flood gates had been opened Sunday night.
“To move some of the water,” he said. “She couldn’t have gotten past the flood gates because they’re screened.”
Ward said if they had not opened the flood gates the entire neighborhood would’ve been under water. There was a fear that her body might have gotten through the canal system and into the Yazoo River.
That did not happen and her body was found just a few blocks from where she disappeared.