Jackson officials reminisce about Easter Flood, 40 years later


This month marks forty years since the Easter Flood in 1979.

The flooding from the Pearl River left much of Jackson under water. 

The people who lived through it say the experience is with them every day.

Hinds County Emergency Management Director Ricky Moore says, “The flood of 79 never goes away in my mind. That’s something the city of Jackson had never seen.” 

Dale Danks was the mayor during the Easter Flood and WJTV 12’s Shay O’ Connor had the chance of speaking with him. 

Danks says, “It broke my heart. They said you are gonna lose your city.” 

“We didn’t know at the time how high the water was going to go. The projections made by Corps of Engineers. They didn’t know how high the water would go or where the parameters of the flood would be.”

The Pearl River was 15 feet above flood stage and at least 6,200 homes and businesses were damaged.

Damages would have estimated to be more than $1.5 billion in today’s money.  

Danks says history could repeat itself because there have not been any meaningful flood control measures since. 

“Can it happen again? Mother Nature she don’t care. The situations we’ve come through in the past. We’ll come through them in the future. It’s regretful we haven’t been able to make some more advances towards addressing a flood when and if it ever happens again.”

Ricky Moore says they fear it could happen again and everyone needs to be prepared just in case. 

“Make sure they have their emergency plan and kits ready. We are working diligently with the city for an evacuation plan to remove people if we need to. They also have to make sure they have flood insurance. There’s a whole generation of people who have never experienced this.”

The people who lived through this are hoping no other generation will have to go through the same. 

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