JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) – The sandbags are out, shelters are opening and first responders are on alert as the Pearl River nears its crest level with rain on the way.
On Friday afternoon, Mayor Chokwe A. Lumumba held a news briefing on what the city is offering to those who get flooded.
A common phrase said countless times over the past week is “turn around, and don’t drown.” 52 county and city roads could be affected by the flooding from the river.
“Do not remove any barricades,” Mayor Lumumba said. “They are there for your safety and protection.”
Some good news was the maximum height prediction of the Pearl River dropping from 35.5 feet to 35 feet. Still, low lying areas like the south end of West Street has businesses on alert.
“I’ve got one lady who works for me that lives right behind here, and I came through there this morning down West Street worried about her,” Beatty Grocery Store owner Mary Harden said. “Her house will flood if it gets too high.”
If you are forced out of your home, Jackson and the Red Cross have opened up a temporary shelter at the Champion Community Center at 1355 Hattiesburg Street. It will be open until Sunday.
“They do provide food like snacks, water, there’s showers,” explained Keyshia Sanders with the City of Jackson. “Everything is there and actually the shelter is being ran by the American Red Cross.”
For any elderly or disabled people, JATRAN will be offering services to bus you out of flooded roads and homes to safety. If water does engulf your neighborhood, rescue teams will go door-door to check in.
“If you leave your home, please place a note on your front door so our first responders know to move on,” Mayor Lumumba stated.
Last minute sandbags are also available for pick-up only from 8:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. at 4225 Michael Avalon Street. If you have any emergencies with flooding, call the city’s 311 line.
Pets are also allowed in the Champion Community Center, but the animals must be in some type of pet crate, unless you have a service dog.