Pearl River crests in Jackson

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RANKIN COUNTY, Miss. (WJTV) – The National Weather Service said the Pearl River is cresting in Jackson at the Highway 80 gauge, where the river was at 36.67 on Monday. According to NWS, the river is expected to crest at 36.74 feet.

Despite that peak, other areas, particularly in Northeast Jackson and in Rankin County along the river, reported a 38-foot river in the Highway 25 area north to the Barnett Reservoir dam. The original predicted crest was 38 feet.

Officials at Barnett Reservoir began reducing outflows through the dam, with another reduction planned for 6:00 p.m. on Monday. After holding a discharge of 75,000 cubic feet per second overnight, the outflow was dropped to 70,265 at 9:15 a.m.

“We saw the lake start to respond Sunday night, and the level dropped to below 298 feet this morning,” said John Sigman, General Manager of the Pearl River Valley Water Supply District. “We still need to create storage space in the lake for the rain in the forecast for this week, and balance that with the flood concerns downstream. The good news is that inflows into the lake are falling and will fall very rapidly going forward.”

Sigman said the plan was to reduce the outflow through the dam to 65,000 cubic feet per second at 6:00 p.m. and hold to that rate until 9:00 a.m. Tuesday.

During a news conference on Monday, Governor Tate Reeves said the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks assisted local law enforcement with 16 evacuations from the flooding. More than 156,000 sandbags have also been distributed. The shelter at the Jackson Police Training Academy is also open, but the shelter in Oktibbeha County has closed.

Neighbors in Hinds, Rankin and Madison County can report damage online by visiting the links below:

Looking ahead this week, heavy rainfall in Central Mississippi should start Tuesday. Another one to two inches could fall.

Click here for more flood coverage from 12 News.

Click here for more information on how to protect yourself from the flooding.

You can watch the full news conference below.

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