Flooded Mississippi residents return to soggy, smelly homes

Residents returned to soggy, smelly homes Wednesday to begin cleaning up as floodwaters finally receded around Mississippi's capital after days of misery but with more rain on the way.

Nearly 300 homes and businesses were still without power in two counties, and Entergy utility company said it was unclear when all the electricity might be back on.

But people who had been forced out of their homes for days by floodwaters from the Pearl River threw open windows and doors to allow carpeting, furniture and floors to begin drying out. Generators hummed as crews worked in one neighborhood.

Ila and Daniel Colton's brick house, which stood in water for as many as five days, was full of wet carpet, furniture and books. The water got so high even lampshades and pictures hanging on walls were wet, and multiple homes in their neighborhood were in similar shape.

More drenching rains take aim at flood-ravaged South

“Even though we have flood insurance, we still have a long way to go,” said Ila Cotton, back home for the first time since evacuating with only a few items six days earlier.

Nearly 10 inches of rain has fallen this month in places across Mississippi, sending rivers out of their banks. Jackson set a record with 4.5 inches of rain Saturday.

Rain was still falling across a wide area from eastern Texas to South Carolina and flood warnings covered much of the South. The National Weather Service said as much as 3 inches of rain could fall overnight across central Mississippi, causing additional flooding.

Some school systems in east Alabama delayed opening Wednesday because of heavy rains.