Flooding in Jackson Mississippi prompts mandatory evacuations

By Audrey McNamara

/ CBS News

Flooding in Jackson, Mississippi, is expected to raise the city's Pearl River to a record 38 feet, making it the third-highest level for the river in history. The flooding has prompted mandatory evacuations in Mississippi's capital city.

The City of Jackson declared a state of emergency on Thursday, followed by a mandatory evacuation order on Friday.

"Certain areas in the City of Jackson have been placed under a MANDATORY EVACUATION due to the risk of SEVERE FLOODING," reads a statement issued by the city. "Citizens who live in low-lying areas should take precautions to leave their residence no later than SATURDAY, February 15, 2020."

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CBS affiliate WJTV reports that there is already flooding on some streets in and around Jackson. The river, however, will "crest" at 38 feet on Sunday, according to the National Weather Service. The river has not reached that height since intense flooding in 1979 and 1983.

Southern Storms Floooding
Floodwaters begin to encroach the Harbor Pines Mobile Home Community in Ridgeland, Mississippi, Friday, Feb. 14, 2020. Rogelio V. Solis / AP

Officials are also monitoring water levels at a local reservoir.

"We will hold off releasing the bulk of the water as long as we can to give residents time to prepare downstream," John Sigman, general manager of Pearl River Valley Water Supply District, told WJTV.

"We increased our release at the dam this morning to 65,000 cubic feet per second and didn't see much impact on the river. We will hold at that point for the next 24 to 48 hours with a close eye on the river and lake levels."

First published on February 14, 2020 / 5:02 PM

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