“If predictions prove accurate, the Pearl River is expected to peak on Monday, August 29, at 36 feet,” Reeves said in the declaration.
The flood stage 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 nearly entering homes in Northeast Jackson at 35.8 feet.
“The state of Mississippi is as prepared as possible for this flood. My administration, including MEMA, is monitoring this situation closely, and is actively working to respond as quickly as possible to the ongoing developments with flooding,” Reeves said.
Mayor Jackson Chokwe Antar Lumumba has called for voluntary evacuations in areas that are expected to be affected by rising waters, while Reeves warned, “If your house floods in 2020, there is a high probability it will happen again.”
State emergency management officials have begun assessing water levels along the Pearl River and have deployed more than 100,000 sandbags, according to the declaration.
Barnett Reservoir General Manager John Sigmund warned of rising water ahead of the summit as the water was expected to continue rising, before slowly descending.
“It looks like we’re going to be in the flood we see even today, maybe until the end of the week with then a gradual recession after that,” Sigmund said.
The threat of heavy rain will be very localized on Saturday, but most areas have experienced heavy rains over the past week, so it doesn’t take much additional rainfall to exacerbate the ongoing flooding.
Rainfall extending from 1 to 2 inches is expected in most areas but some locations — including along the direct Gulf Coast and across Florida — could see as much as 2 to 4 inches of rain through Monday. The Florida peninsula is likely to experience the most rainfall over the weekend.
Sigmund said a week of scattered and isolated rain across the region was not expected to have a significant impact on water levels in Mississippi.