Mississippi Flooding: Gov. Declares State of Emergency Ahead of Expected Devastation From Pearl River

by Chris Haney

On Saturday, Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves declared a state of emergency as officials brace for expected flooding from the Pearl River. Officials are expecting the river’s water levels to rise to 36 feet by early Monday morning, according to reports.

Reeves also shared that the capital city of Jackson may face severe flooding in the downtown area. He asked everyone in the Mississippi capital to be cautious and prepare for the worst. Reeves said that both residential areas and businesses could be at risk of flooding if current projections about the river come to pass.

“If this happens, there will be dozens of streets in downtown Jackson that will flood,” Reeves said, according to Mississippi Today.

On Friday, officials in Mississippi’s capital also shared a statement about potential flooding in the area. They referenced the floods in 2020 and advised residents to make plans to evacuate if they can.

“The City of Jackson is advising residents who were affected by the 2020 flood to make evacuation plans in the next 48 hours as the water level of the Pearl River is increasing and expected to crest at 36 feet in the coming days,” the capital city of Jackson said in a statement.

The city is already taking steps to safeguard the area as much as possible. Local authorities are handing out sandbags to residents who could face flooding.

Mississippi Already Dealing with Flooding in Rankin County

As Mississippi’s capital prepares for flooding, neighboring Rankin County has already dealt with floods earlier this week. In fact, authorities rescued numerous people on Wednesday because of heavy rain and flooding. That included rescuers evacuating dozens of children and workers at a local daycare.

Rankin County Sheriff Bryan Bailey posted photos and video on Facebook showing the flooding and its damage to roads. His videos also showed rescuers evacuating multiple toddlers from the flooded daycare. Many of the young children were crying as rescuers loaded them up in the back of a large truck.

“I am so proud of the men and women of the Rankin County Sheriff’s Office,” Bailey wrote on Facebook. “During disasters like today’s flooding, all sheriffs department employees come together as a team and do whatever has to be done to help the people.”

Florence Mayor Bob Morris spoke with local news outlet WJTV about the rescue at the daycare. Morris shared that 104 children between the ages of six-weeks old and five years old were at the Railroad Center Daycare.

As water began to build up around the facility, staff called the police fearing it would flow over into the daycare. Police, sheriff’s deputies, and firefighters all responded to rescue the children and staff. Morris added that all the children and staff made it out unharmed. Authorities evacuated everyone to a nearby facility and everyone made it home safely from there.