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Mississippi Highway Collapses in Ida's Wake; 2 Killed, at Least 10 Injured

Mississippi river traffic moves in the aftermath of Hurricane Ida, Aug. 30, 2021, near Lafitte, La.

The Mississippi Highway Patrol says two people were killed, and at least 10 others were injured when a highway collapsed in the southeastern corner of the state following hours of torrential rain from remnants of Ida.

Troopers, rescue teams and emergency road crews responded to the scene near Lucedale late Monday, where they found a large hole that had opened in the pavement on Highway 26, about 96 kilometers northeast of Biloxi.

It involved about seven vehicles, including a motorcycle, which had driven into it. Mississippi Highway Patrol Corporal Cal Robertson said the hole was about 15 to 18 meters long and about 6 to 9 meters deep. He said the heavy rainfall in the area caused the collapse, and low visibility from the storm prevented drivers from seeing that a portion of the roadway was gone.

Robertson told local media some of the cars were stacked on top of one another in the hole and a crane was used to pull them out. He told the cable channel CNN he had never seen anything like it in his career.

State and local officials say Highway 26 is a main roadway connecting the area to Louisiana and carries a relatively high volume of traffic. Officials say they are continuing to investigate the incident.

The National Weather Service says about 20 centimeters of rain had fallen in the area as the remnants of Ida, one of the most powerful hurricanes ever to hit the mainland United States, moved through over the last 24 hours.

Some information for this report was provided by the Associated Press.