RANKIN COUNTY, Miss. (WJTV) – Barnett Reservoir officials on Wednesday morning made two significant reductions in the release of water through the dam, and the lake is now in a situation to hold future rainfall.
At 9:15 a.m., the outflow rate was reduced to 35,000 cubic feet per second from the reservoir, which was at a level of 295.89 feet above sea level. The peak outflow was near 78,000 cubic feet per second and the lake had a top elevation of 298.6 over the past week as reservoir officials managed flood conditions on the Pearl River.
“We’ll hold at that level until later today when we start walking the release down to match inflows,” said John Sigman, General Manager of the Pearl River Valley Water Supply District. “We do need to slow the fall of the lake to store water for our anti-bank sloughing program as the flood waters recede downstream.”
According to the National Weather Service, Tuesday night’s heavy rainfall was concentrated north of the Pearl River basin. The Service also predicted the Pearl would drop to 33 feet on the Highway 80 gauge in Jackson on Thursday and fall below flood stage on Friday.