Mississippi’s Pearl River basin and tributaries filled after three days of extremely heavy rain and will crest Tuesday at 36 feet.
The Pearl River surpassed its flood stage Wednesday night near the state’s capital in Jackson. Mississippi officials urged downtown and northeast Jackson residents Thursday to immediately begin preparing for flooding.
The National Weather Service expects the Pearl River to crest on Tuesday, according to a Mississippi Today report. Cresting means that flooding could continue throughout next week until the river returns below its 28-foot flood stage. The 36-foot crest projected by the NWS would equal the eighth highest peak recorded for the Pearl River at Jackson.
Gov. Tate Reeves (R-MS) declared a state of emergency Saturday after the NWS predicted flooding from the Pearl River, according to a Fox News report.
The city of Jackson website contains an interactive map that shows expected flooding stages laid out over the grid of city blocks.
Senior hydrologist Mary Pope of the local NWS said the Jackson area has seen anywhere between five and 15 inches of rain over the last three days, according to the report.
“The City of Jackson is advising residents who were affected by the 2020 flood to make evacuation plans in the next 48 hours as the water level of the Pearl River is increasing and expected to crest at 36 feet in the coming days,” Jackson officials said in a statement Friday.
Jackson is providing sand for residents to fill sandbags with, and the Red Cross opened a temporary shelter for needy residents Friday night. Cots, blankets and meals are being provided to people fleeing from flooding. Residents were instructed to bring other items they need, like medicine, with them.
A city just north of Jackson — Canton — is already experiencing extensive flooding.
“I told my son we were fixing to lose our cars,” Canton resident Jimmy Faulkner informed a WAPT reporter. “We were wading in water up to our knees to get to our cars.”
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