Flood Emergency: Pearl River crests, flash flooding possible on Tuesday


JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) – The National Weather Service said the Pearl River is cresting in Jackson feet at 36.67 feet on Monday, February 17. The river already reached the third highest river level in history, behind the 1979 and 1983 floods.

Governor Tate Reeves declared a State of Emergency on Saturday due to the flooding.

The City of Jackson declared a State of Emergency on Thursday and issued a mandatory evacuation order on Friday. The City of Ridgeland issued a mandatory evacuation order for the Harbor Pines subdivision, and the City of Richland declared a local emergency.

According to the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency, dozens of streets were affected by the flooding. Click here for a full list.

If you need help getting out of your homes, you can call the City of Jackson at 311. If you do not leave your home by Saturday, the roads may be impassible at that time. There will also be a shelter available at the Jackson Police Training Academy at 3000 St. Charles Street. It is open as a long-term shelter from now until further notice.

The American Red Cross of Mississippi said other shelters will be open. Click here for more information.

Barnett Reservoir officials continued to reduce the amount of water being released through the dam on Tuesday. They foresee further reductions later in the day, depending on rainfall.

Barnett Reservoir officials continued to reduce the amount of water being released through the dam on Tuesday. They foresee further reductions later in the day, depending on rainfall.

At 9 a.m. Tuesday, Barnett Reservoir stood at 296.95 feet above sea level, providing some storage for the next round of rain. The Highway 80 gauge at Jackson was 36.3 feet at 9:15 a.m. after a crest of 36.67 on Monday.

The National Weather Service’s rainfall forecast shows two rain events, one each on Tuesday and Wednesday. The forecast is between 1 and 2 inches in the Pearl River basin from the two events but could be heavier in some areas, and residents of low-lying areas are being urged to remain alert.

“While discharges from Barnett Reservoir are decreasing and the river levels are dropping in Jackson, we caution downstream communities that the National Weather Service is predicting a rise in the lower Pearl due to rainfall,” Sigman said. “Local rainfall can result in flash flooding anywhere along the Pearl River.”

Waste Management said customers in Jackson and surrounding areas could experience delays in service due to the flooding from the Pearl River.

U-Haul is offering free self-storage for Jackson-metro area flood victims due to the flooding.

Here are some flood safety tips:

  • If you have issues with mobility or transportation and need to leave your home because of potential flooding, please call 311 as soon as possible.
  • If you are seeking shelter and have pets, make sure they are in a crate. Service dogs (not including emotional support animals) can be on a leash.
  • Keep an Emergency Supplies Kit on hand (ie. Non-perishable food, first aid, toiletries, paper goods etc.)
  • DO NOT WALK IN FLOODWATERS. Floodwaters are contaminated with debris, harmful chemicals, rodents, etc. Keep kids and pets out of floodwaters.
  • TURN AROUND, DON’T DROWN. Don’t drive through floodwaters.
  • DO NOT REMOVE ANY BARRICADES. They are there for your safety.
  • Monitor local news and weather alerts

The Mississippi State Department of Health has some tips on flood health. You can also click here or here for tips on how to protect yourself from the flooding.

If you want to learn more about flood insurance, click here.

Click here for more flood coverage from 12 News.

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