Pearl River to crest at Jackson Monday at level below 1983

NEMissnews Jackson MS Pearl River flood 1983
This photograph shows the Jackson Coliseum surrounded by flood water in 1983. Memories of that catastrophic flood sharpen the memories of Jackson residents as officials warn of possible Pearl River flooding within coming hours. Although firm predictions cannot be made, official information seems to indicate flooding will not be as bad this year as it was in 1983.
February 16th, 2020     Featured General News

Jackson MS – Pearl River waters are spilling into portions of the Jackson MS area. Many local residents can easily recall the devastating flooding of 1983, when the Pearl River rose to 39.58 feet.

Though officials have slightly lowered the previously anticipated Pearl River crest to 37.5 feet from the earlier announced 38 feet, Jackson’s Mayor Lumumba says, “We are still in a critical situation. An evacuation order is still in effect.”  The mayor also urged people to stay out of floodwaters.

The Sunday morning, February 16, 2020, reading of 36.33 feet is the third highest level on record. The record crest for the river is 43.28 feet, set in 1979.

After the Pearl crests on Monday morning, there will still be several days of recovery. “There is going to be a period where there is a lot of damage that has to be assessed and debris removed,” Mayor Lumumba said. Floodwaters are expected to continue moving outward to areas including the center of the state government in downtown Jackson.

NE MS news flooding near Ross Barnett Reservoir

Flooding in the Barnett Reservoir area, Feb. 15, 2020    Photo: Sonya Scott

The Pearl is rising to critical levels because Ross R. Barnett Reservoir, a 33,000-acre lake northeast (upstream} of Jackson, has been filled by days of torrential rainfall recently experienced in the area. However, officials at the reservoir said they’d been able to hold Sunday morning’s release of water from the dam to a lower quantity because the lake had “stabilized” overnight.

Law enforcement and Wildlife officials have been going door to door telling residents to evacuate flood zones, and to remain cautious about wildlife.

In Rankin County, emergency officials are said to be cautiously optimistic, encouraged by the lack of homes having taken on water as of today (Sunday Feb. 16). However, many neighborhoods do have substantial flooding in streets and yards.

Northeast MS news Flooding near Ross Barnett reservoir

Saturday Feb 15, 2020 in Ross Barnett reservoir area.
Photo: Sonya Scott

First responders are prepared to react. Local citizens are asked to remain ware of conditions, and cautious for their safety and for that of their families and neighbors.

The City of Jackson has issued a precautionary city-wide boil water advisory, effective until further notice.  Health officials say the notice is for all surface water connections. It does not include well water connections.

Water should be brought to a rolling boil for one minute for the following: cooking or baking, making ice cubes, taking medication, brushing teeth, washing food, mixing baby formula or food, mixing juices or drinks feeding pets, washing dishes and all other consumption.

Locally, Curt Clayton, Union County emergency services director has told that, to his knowledge, there is no significant flooding in Union County at this time.


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