As record-setting rain threatens to flood streets and creep into homes in the course of today and tomorrow, the mayor of Jackson, Mississippi’s biggest city, reiterated his calls for citizens to evacuate, warning them not to take evacuation warnings lightly.
Worried about a repeat of the damaging February 2020 flooding, Mayor Chokwe Antar Lumumba said that people should leave the city as soon as possible a day after warning residents to “get out now.”
The first predictions were that due to the rain, Mississippi’s Pearl River to reach 36 feet and crest by Tuesday but that prognosis changed later, and was predicted that the river is now expected to crest late Sunday through Monday evening before slowly lowering.
Lumumba asked residents to pray that the worst does not come and urged them not to risk being within their homes should that happen due to flooding.
The National Weather Service (NWS) hydrologist told the New York Times that Mississippi’s Pearl River is expected to crest at 35.5 feet on Monday, six inches lower than previous forecasts.
Lumumba’s spokesperson said 100 to 150 homes could be affected in Jackson where the flooding has yet to reach houses though it had reached some subdivision streets in the city.
As NWS warned about potential tropical cyclones in the region, flooding swept across the southwest region of the US last week. Still, similar trends of unstable weather have appeared in other areas of the US.
Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves (R) declared a state of emergency on Saturday for areas that are still affected by the river flooding to allow state agencies, including the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency (MEMA), to better assist with the flooding – and carry out their emergency responsibilities – and its aftermath.
According to the emergency announcement, MEMA which is continually monitoring flood levels using drones and other instruments, and the Reeves administration have worked together to deploy sandbags and prepare search and rescue teams.
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