Outflow at Barnett Reservoir reduced; flash flooding possible on Tuesday

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RANKIN COUNTY, Miss. (WJTV) – 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.

After holding outflows at 65,000 cubic feet per second overnight, Pearl River Valley Water Supply District lowered the release to 55,250 from the 33,000-acre lake north of Jackson.

“The lake responded favorably overnight, dropping to a more comfortable level, and we made the move early this morning in hopes of easing flood conditions downstream,” said PRVWSD General Manager John Sigman. “Depending on the rainfall we get today, we anticipate further reductions soon.”

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.”

Click here for more flood coverage from 12 News.

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