RANKIN COUNTY, Miss. (WJTV) – Reservoir officials continue to work with local and national partners to limit flooding down steam of the lake north of Jackson. The National Weather Service predicts the Pearl River to crest at 38 feet Sunday at 6:00 p.m.
After as much as seven inches of rain fell in the Pearl River basin this week, the reservoir has used storage space to slow the flood’s approach of the city but is now nearing capacity. At 38-feet, Jackson would suffer its third highest river on record. By comparison, the river reached 39.58 on May 25 1983. Areas that flooded during that event should expect some impact this weekend.
Governor Reeves declared a State of Emergency on Saturday.
During Saturday’s conference call with Barnett Reservoir, National Weather Service, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and other agencies, it was reported that many sites in the Pearl River basin north of the lake had crested and inflows into the lake were expected to peak at about 83,000 cubic feet per second Saturday evening. Reservoir officials plan to hold water as long as possible.
“We committed to allow time for the people downstream to evacuate and prepare, and we will hold to that promise as long as we can,” said John Sigman, General Manager of Pearl River Valley Water Supply District. “Our plan is to hold discharge through the dam at the current level through today at 6 p.m., and then we will slowly start increasing the flow. We will reach capacity and have no option but to release the water.”
Sigman said the plan was to slowly take the release up to match the inflow, which should create a flow of 80,000 cubic feet per second through the dam. The reservoir was at 297.8 feet above sea level and on a fast rise. The week began with a level of 295.1.
Pearl River Valley Water Supply District and the Rankin County Board of Supervisors are providing sandbags to residents affected by the flooding. They can be picked up at Lakeshore Park off Northshore Parkway at Barnett Reservoir. Volunteers are welcome to assist at Lakeshore Park.
Click here for a list of more sandbag locations.
You can keep up with the outflow data of the Rez by clicking here.