Mississippi Governor Declares State of Emergency Due to Predicted River Flooding

Mississippi Governor Declares State of Emergency Due to Predicted River Flooding
Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves is seen at the Governor's Mansion in Jackson, Miss., on June 30, 2020. (Rogelio V. Solis-Pool/Getty Images)
Mimi Nguyen Ly

Mississippi’s governor on Saturday declared a state of emergency in response to flooding or predicted flooding in the state.

“Today I declared a State of Emergency for areas that have been or may be affected by the recent flooding,” Gov. Tate Reeves announced on Twitter. “This will allow our state agencies to better assist in our response efforts and carry out their emergency responsibilities.”
The National Weather Service predicted the Pearl River near Jackson, Mississippi, will crest early next week on Aug. 29 at 36 feet—nearly the level it reached during flooding in 2020.

Reeves, a Republican, said that the prediction “is 24 hours sooner than originally predicted.”

“The time is now to start making preparations to protect you and your family,” he said, adding, “If your home flooded in 2020, there is a high probability it will happen again.”

People in need of shelter can go to the Jackson Police Training Academy at 3000 Saint Charles Street in the city of Jackson, Reeves stated. The facility is open and is being run by the American Red Cross.

Reeves urged residents to remain calm and to “Be aware, but don’t panic.” He encouraged people in the flood zones to be cautious and take appropriate precautions, including to evacuate if needed.

Mississippi residents are also urged to monitor news and emergency warning channels such as the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency (MEMA), the Mississippi Department of Transportation (MDOT), and the National Weather Service.

So far, the Mississippi state government has responded to the expected flooding by deploying 126,000 sandbags, and putting search and rescue teams on standby.

Reeves said that MEMA is also monitoring water levels along the Pearl River via drones to keep the administration updated on flood areas and water movement.

Heavy rain in the past weeks has caused rivers and creeks in central Mississippi to rise.

Emergency officials advise that people in low-lying areas near the river prepare for flooding of homes and businesses, and prepare to evacuate in the next several days if needed.

Jackson Mayor Chokwe Antar Lumumba has urged residents in flood zones to pack enough belongings to get them through several days of evacuation. He said law enforcement officers will increase patrols to protect property.

“Don’t allow that to be an impediment for you saving your life and saving the lives of those other individuals in your home,” Lumumba said during a news conference Friday.

For more information on the flooding, how it will impact your area, and what you can do to stay safe, please visit: https://www.msema.org/august-flooding-information/
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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