NATIONAL NEWS

‘Get out now’: Mayor urges residents to flee ahead of rising river waters in Mississippi

Aug 28, 2022, 4:44 PM
...

(CNN) — The mayor of Mississippi’s biggest city urged residents to “get out now” on Saturday as record-setting rain threatens to flood streets and creep into homes within the next two days.

Authorities earlier predicted Mississippi’s Pearl River to reach 36 feet and crest by Tuesday due to the rain, but the river is now expected to crest late Sunday through Monday evening before slowly lowering.

Jackson Mayor Chokwe Antar Lumumba told CNN on Sunday people should leave the city “as soon as possible,” saying he was worried of a repeat of the damaging February 2020 flooding.

“Unfortunately because we have seen these events as recently as 2020, we have a reference point, and we know the damage that can occur,” he said.

“If we risk the life of one individual, that’s one individual too many,” Lumumba said. “Our residents have been inundated with persistent rain over the last few days.”

While river levels this week aren’t expected to reach the same levels as 2020, Lumumba told CNN that’s not reason to underestimate the flood waters.

Since the 2020 flooding event, Lumumba said officials have been able to better instruct residents on how to prepare for the flood by taking pictures of their property and locating their critical documents.

“Whether or not we have the same number of homes that are affected this time, for those homes that are affected, that’s a handful too many that can be impacted,” the mayor said. “So, we want to make sure that we have the mitigation after we have recovery, that this no longer has to be commonplace in the city of Jackson.”

A flood stage in the city is considered “major” at 26 feet. The current flood warning says dozens of additional streets in downtown Jackson will flood at 34 feet, with water close to entering homes in Northeast Jackson at 35.8 feet. The National Weather Service forecast now says the Pearl River will crest at 35.5 feet on Monday morning.

“We are expecting waters to begin to impact neighborhoods as early as Sunday evening,” Lumumba said Saturday, adding as many as 150 homes are expected to be affected by the flooding.

The Ross R. Barnett Reservoir inflows crested Sunday morning, but “there is still a lot of water that must flow downstream,” according to a release from the Pearl River Valley Water Supply District. The 33,000-acre reservoir provides water to Jackson and is upstream from the Pearl River.

Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves declared a state of emergency Saturday due to the rising river waters and urged residents to remain calm. The state has already begun assessing water levels along the river using drones and deployed more than 100,000 sandbags, according to the declaration.

“The state of Mississippi is as prepared as possible for this flooding,” Reeves said. “My administration, including (Mississippi Emergency Management Agency), is monitoring this situation closely, and actively working to respond as quickly as possible to ongoing developments with flooding.”

Memories of 2020 flooding

It wouldn’t be the first time the river reached such a high level. Several neighborhoods in northeast and downtown Jackson were flooded and the Pearl River reached its third highest crest on record at 36.7 feet during a significant flooding event in February 2020.

Authorities are warning that communities affected by the flood in 2020 face a high probability of being impacted again. “Residents in those impacted areas should be ready to leave within 48 hours,” Lumumba said Saturday.

The mayor warned residents that flood waters may remain on the ground for several days, and residents should be prepared to be away from their homes for up to two weeks.

A flood warning remains in effect in parts of Mississippi, including in Jackson around the Pearl River, until further notice, the National Weather Service said.

In Ridgeland, Mississippi, just north of Jackson, residents who had to evacuate during 2020’s floods found themselves packing their bags again.

“Hopefully it won’t get bad. That’s all we’re praying for,” Ridgeland resident Krystal Ferguson told CNN affiliate WAPT. She said her family ended up staying in a hotel for five days during the flooding in 2020.

Hot and humid weather persists

This week, a slow-moving weather system drenched parts of the South, triggering flash floods in Mississippi that forced evacuations, washed away roads, derailed a train, crept into homes and prompted numerous rescues.

On Saturday morning, after heavy rainfall, the Pearl River Valley Water Supply District increased the discharge from Barnett Reservoir to 60,000 cubic feet per second, a move the district warned will put water on Jackson streets.

“Water will be in several streets in Jackson and could begin approaching some homes and businesses,” water district officials said in a news release Saturday morning. “It is likely that the discharge could be increased again during the next 24 hours, which could result in water entering homes.”

The threat of flooding will be limited to localized areas Sunday as slow-moving thunderstorms reform during the day, according to CNN Meteorologist Derek Van Dam. Scattered thundershowers could produce an additional 1-2 inches of rain by Sunday night, mainly south of Interstate 20.

Hot and humid conditions will persist, with highs in the middle to upper 80s.

Jackson’s mayor urged residents to stay away from flooded areas.

“We do not need sightseers, and we do not need you putting yourself or those that are helping with rescue efforts in harm’s way,” Lumumba said.


The-CNN-Wire™ & © 2022 Cable News Network, Inc., a WarnerMedia Company. All rights reserved.

KSL 5 TV Live

Top Stories

National News

Button batteries swallowed by children can get stuck in the esophagus and cause burns or worse. (St...
Sandee LaMotte, CNN

Accidental poisoning of children by button batteries is on the rise, study finds

An increasing number of little children are eating small lithium batteries, also known as "button" batteries, that power many of our consumer devices, with potentially serious consequences, even death, a new report found.
29 days ago
Taylor Swift accepts the Video of the Year award for “All Too Well” (10-minute Taylor’s Versi...
JONATHAN LANDRUM Jr., AP Entertainment Writer

Taylor Swift wins top prize, announces new album at MTV VMAs

Taylor Swift took home the top prize at the 2022 MTV Video Music Awards before she closed out the show with a surprisingly big announcement: Her new album.
29 days ago
The Artemis I rocket sits on launch pad 39-B at Kennedy Space Center as it is prepared for launch o...
MARCIA DUNN, AP Aerospace Writer

Engine problem leads NASA to scrub launch of new moon rocket

Fuel leaks and a possible crack discovered during final liftoff preparations are threatening to delay the launch of NASA’s mighty new moon rocket Monday.
29 days ago
Photo: Alan Altschuler, Shirine Babb, Rajesh Bose, Truett Felt, Caroline Grogan, Paul Lazar, Susann...
Frank Pallotta, CNN Business

Why HBO Max is removing so many series and films

The service, which is owned by Warner Bros. Discovery, has been scrapping TV shows and films left and right as it cuts costs.
1 month ago
FILE BOSTON, MA - JANUARY 6:  U.S. Coast Guard boats patrol Boston Harbor outside of the Moakley Fe...
Associated Press

Father, son clinging to cooler rescued from Boston Harbor

In the nick of time, the Boston Police Department’s harbor patrol unit rescued a father and son who were desperately clinging to a drinks cooler at the edge of Boston Harbor after their boat sank.
1 month ago
...
Stephanie Elam, CNN

The fight against drought in California has a new tool: The restrictor

Officials are trying something new: adding water restrictors to some pipes, which sharply reduce the home's water supply.
1 month ago

Sponsored Articles

young woman throwing clothes to organize a walk in closet...
Lighting Design

How to organize your walk-in closet | 7 easy tips to streamline your storage today

Read our tips to learn how to organize your walk-in closet for more storage space. These seven easy tips can help you get the most out of your space.
Types of Computer Malware and Examples...
PC Laptops

5 Nasty Types of Computer Malware and Examples | Everything You Need to Know to Keep Your Computer and Family Safe

Here are the different types of computer malware and examples that could potentially infect your computer.
tips how to quit smoking...

7 Tips How to Quit Smoking | Quitting Smoking Might be One of the Hardest Things You Ever Do but Here’s Where You Can Start

Quitting smoking cigarettes can be incredibly difficult. Here are 7 tips how to quit smoking to help you on your quitting journey.
Photo: Storyblocks...
Blue Stakes of Utah 811

Blue Stakes of Utah 811: 5 Reasons To Call 811 Before You Dig When Working in Your Yard

Call before you dig. Even at home, you could end up with serious injuries or broken utilities just because you didn't call Blue Stakes of Utah 811.
Days of...
Days of '47 Rodeo

TRIVIA: How well do you know your rodeo? Take this quiz before you go to the Days of ’47!

The Utah Days of ’47 Rodeo presented by Zions Bank is a one-of-a-kind Gold Medal Rodeo being held July 20-23, 25 at 7:30 PM. The Days of ’47 Rodeo How well do you know your rodeo trivia? Take the quiz to test your know-all before heading out to the Days of ’47 Rodeo at the […]
cyber security through multi factor authentication setup...
Les Olson IT

How multi factor authentication setup helps companies stay safe

Multi factor authentication (MFA) setup is an important security measure that every company should implement for their workers. It’s also wise to install it for your personal and home accounts.
‘Get out now’: Mayor urges residents to flee ahead of rising river waters in Mississippi