Local leaders watch for future flood risks

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HINDS COUNTY, Miss. (WJTV) – Flooding and damage from severe weather caused the Pearl River to overflow onto streets and properties recently. Now, the water level is starting to go down.

The National Weather Service said the river crested at 34.34 feet on Sunday.

John Sigman, with the Pearl River Valley Water Supply District, said the board plans to act fast if flooding happens again near the Barnett Reservoir.

“We’re looking forward to sometime, midnight tonight to begin further decreasing the flows we’ve already decreased some,” said Sigman. “We’ll decrease it further in incremental fashion to get back down to a level where the outflows and inflows are matched and that the surface of the lake is where we want it to be.”

The Pearl River Valley Water Supply District has been dealing with quite a bit these past few months. They’ve been tending to the invasive Giant Salvinia plant in the reservoir, but they said the flooding is their first priority.

“When you compare the water in houses or giving up salvinia it was an easy choice,” explained Sigman.

In Hinds County, a new motion was passed on Tuesday by the Board of Supervisors. It gave the Hinds County EOC the green light to determine the most problematic areas of flash flooding throughout the county and what needs to be done to prevent excessive flooding.

“Three different days last week, we had flash flooding. So we had 11.9 inches of rain in January. That’s usually twice the amount we usually get in January,”said Ricky Moore, Hinds County EOC. “The Pearl River was at 34 feet. The creeks that flow into the river were backing up into a lot of these neighborhoods.”

Moore said one of the most problematic areas is in Byram. He said he’s looking forward to working with the city’s public works and engineers.

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