Meteorologists are warning people in Mississippi to brace for what could be one of the most devastating floods in the state’s history. After days of heavy downpours, the Pearl River is expected to swell well beyond its banks and threaten the homes of thousands of people. While the sun came out for some today in Mississippi, meteorologists with the Weather Prediction Center are warning people in Mississippi as well as Alabama and Georgia that more heavy, flooding rains are likely on Tuesday into Wednesday in the area.
Mississippi Governor Tate Reeves declared a state of emergency yesterday. Authorities are urging people to follow evacuation recommendations made by local officials; the flooding is expected to impact more than 3,000 people with the possibility of 1,000+ homes becoming inundated by flood waters.
The National Weather Service announced on Twitter today that the Pearl River was expected to crest in the Jackson area at 37.5 feet on Monday. That is slightly down from the 38 foot crest that had earlier been projected to occur on Sunday. The weather service said the river is currently at 36.42 feet in Jackson — the highest it has been since 1983. The Pearl River crested at 43.2 feet on April 17, 1979 at it’s all-time highest level. The second-highest level occurred May 5, 1983, when the river got up to 39.58 feet. Because flood forecasts are a fluid, dynamic process, the National Weather Service is urging people to err on the side of caution rather than risk being stuck behind in a flood.