The weekend's heavy rains are the likely cause of a landslide along Highway 178 in Lee County and could have also been a factor in a water main leak in the same area.
A section of the westbound lane of Highway 178 near Mooreville gave way, with parts of the highway's shoulder sliding down a slope. Other sections of the highway had large cracks and dips caused by the slide.
Also, it is believed the pressure from the water and landslide could have caused a leak in a 36-inch water line that runs parallel to 178.
Crews were on scene fixing the water main leak, and MDOT engineers blocked off part of Highway 178, between 371 and Tree Top Lane. An MDOT engineer said this slide is one of the largest he's seen.
"Unfortunately because of some of the small right of way we have on some of our smaller routes we do have issues with minor slides if we have a lot of rain," Matt Dunn with MDOT told WCBI. "But those are slides we come upon, repair pretty easily and quickly. This one is a substantial slide that will take more work."
That water main leak did not leave anyone without water, however, since the line serves Tupelo, officials there asked residents to conserve water for 24 hours. MDOT geotechnical engineers will try and find out what caused the landslide, and how to best repair it. Until that happens, motorists are advised to use old 178, or I 22.
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