JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — People in and around Mississippi’s capital city were bracing for possible flooding as the Pearl River was approaching a crest after last week’s heavy rainfall.
Officials said about 100 to 150 homes in the Jackson area could be impacted by Monday night. The Mississippi Emergency Management Agency said Monday on Twitter that the river was predicted to crest at 35.5 feet (10.8 meters). The agency said that would just avoid hitting the major flood stage level of 36 feet (10.97 meters).
“Roads are still flooded. We ask that you don’t return home until your local officials say it’s safe to do so,” the agency said.
Some Jackson residents started moving furniture and appliances out of their homes late last week. Others were stocking up on sandbags. The Mississippi Emergency Management Agency had deployed 126,000 sandbags to act as water barriers in preparation for flooding.
Two years ago, torrential downpours caused the Pearl River to reach 36.7 feet (11.2 meters) and Jackson homes in the hardest-hit neighborhoods were filled with dirty, snake-infested flood water.
Oscar Day, an inventory control worker at a sandbag distribution site, said Jackson residents started preparing their homes for potential flood damage earlier than in 2020.
“A lot of people took the heat last time,” Day said Sunday.
The Red Cross opened a temporary shelter at the Jackson Police Department Training Academy.
The floodwaters in Mississippi arrive after severe flooding caused death and destruction in Kentucky last month. Those floods caused at least 39 deaths and robbed thousands of families of all of their possessions. Nearly a month later, residents are wrestling with whether to rebuild at the place they call home or to start over somewhere else.