Water started trickling into Jacksonians back yards last week. With nearly 20 inches of rain since January 1, Jackson, MS has received almost three times more rain than average this year. You combine that with a soggy December, its not wonder the Pearl River has started flowing through parts of downtown Jackson. The river has appeared to crest just shy of 37 ft this afternoon-- which is the highest the river as been since 1983. The record crest on the Pearl River at Jackson is 43.2 feet which occured on April 17, 1979. The second-highest level occurred May 5, 1983-- when the river got up to 39.58 feet.
The Pear River is expected to remain in major flood stage for a couple more days, but it will take longer for all of the water to recede-- since another round of rain is expected in the region Tuesday and Wednesday. Mandatory evacuations have been in effect for several days, with most folks packing what they could and seeking higher ground. Emergency responders conducted four water rescues this weekend, extracting people who were unable or unwilling to leave their homes after evacuation orders. So far, there have not been any loss of life-- but officials have been cautioning parents to not let children play in the water because it could contaminated with sewage.
This week rainfall is not expected to cause the water to rise again, but will slow down the receding process.