Mississippi getting more rain as residents endure 'unprecedented' flooding

Gov. Tate Reeves has declared a state of emergency.

February 17, 2020, 12:28 PM

A storm system moving across the country is set to dump even more rain on Mississippi, which is already enduring massive flooding.

Gov. Tate Reeves has declared a state of emergency amid what he called "a historic, unprecedented flood."

PHOTO: Water from the Pearl River floods this northeast Jackson, Miss., home and car, Feb. 16, 2020. Authorities believe the flooding will rank as third highest, behind the historic floods of 1979 and 1983.
Water from the Pearl River floods this northeast Jackson, Miss., home and car, Feb. 16, 2020. Authorities believe the flooding will rank as third highest, behind the historic floods of 1979 and 1983.
Rogelio V. Solis/AP
PHOTO: Blaine Henderson right, reaches to tag a mailbox as Pearl River as he and his friend Jonah Valdez play in the floodwaters of this northeast Jackson, Miss., neighborhood, Feb. 16, 2020.
Blaine Henderson right, reaches to tag a mailbox as Pearl River as he and his friend Jonah Valdez play in the floodwaters of this northeast Jackson, Miss., neighborhood, Feb. 16, 2020.
Rogelio V. Solis/AP

Residents should anticipate more heavy rainfall -- possibly one to two inches -- on Monday night and Tuesday, the governor warned at a news conference Monday.

The water is expected to recede relatively quickly over the next two to three days, but as it recedes it'll be fast-moving, the governor said.

"Do not walk or drive through floodwaters," he stressed. "Turn around, don't drown."

There are no reports of injuries, Reeves said.

PHOTO: Water from the Pearl River enters this northeast Jackson, Miss., home, Sunday, Feb. 16, 2020.
Water from the Pearl River enters this northeast Jackson, Miss., home, Sunday, Feb. 16, 2020.
Rogelio V. Solis/AP
PHOTO: Strong currents from the swollen Pearl River flood over the Old Brandon Road Bridge in Jackson, Miss., Feb. 16, 2020.
Strong currents from the swollen Pearl River flood over the Old Brandon Road Bridge in Jackson, Miss., Feb. 16, 2020.
Rogelio V. Solis/AP

Pearl River in Jackson, Miss., crested at about 36.8 feet on Monday -- its highest level in Jackson since 1983.

The river is forecast to stay roughly at this level through Monday night and then begin to recede on Tuesday.

On Sunday, Reeves urged residents to evacuate as boats helped stranded citizens and cars plunged underwater.

"If you were told to evacuate please heed these orders," the governor said Monday. "This is not the time to run back to your house."

Twenty-four people stayed at a Jackson shelter on Sunday night, the governor said, adding that more than 100 spaces are still available.

More than 156,000 sandbags have been distributed, the governor said.

The pounding rain extends beyond Mississippi. More than 10 inches of rain fell in parts of the South over the last week and a half, pushing many rivers over their banks.

Flood warnings continue for rivers across the South from Texas to the Carolinas. Some areas could get several more inches of rain.

PHOTO: There is a new storm system moving out of the Rockies tonight that will bring heavy rain to most of the South and most areas will see an additional two to three inches of rain with localized amounts of three to four inches.
There is a new storm system moving out of the Rockies tonight that will bring heavy rain to most of the South and most areas will see an additional two to three inches of rain with localized amounts of three to four inches.
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