Skip to main content
Your Page Title

Some Jackson residents advised to evacuate as flood waters rise

Email share
MEMA Director Stephen McCraney discusses the state and city's proactive response to flooding in Jackson and areas along the Pearl River.
Kobee Vance, MPB News

Jackson residents in low-lying areas are being asked to evacuate as the Pearl River is expected to reach moderate flood stage weekend. Emergency officials say this could match the flood levels that inundated several neighborhoods two years ago.


A forecast map of what areas will be flooded below the Ross Barnett Reservoir Spillway

Water levels will rise gradually this weekend, and are expected to flood many homes in parts of Northeast Jackson and other areas along the Pearl River. The flood stage already exceeds 31 feet and is expected to crest early next week at 36 feet matching the flood heights of January and February 2020. Mayor Chokwe Antar Lumumba says the city has already begun distributing sandbags to act as water barriers and protect homes, but residents are still being advised to evacuate.

“I think that it is important for our residents to prepare in advance,” says Mayor Lumumba. “We don’t want to take for granted that we’ve seen these experiences before. It is quite possible that you live in a community that has been advised could potentially see this water, and maybe you weren’t impacted in 2020. If we instruct you that you are in a risk area or high-risk area, please heed that advice.”

If someone is unable to retrieve sandbags due to disability or otherwise unable to leave their home, the mayor says residents can call constituent services by dialing 311 to get assistance.

Unlike many of the flash floods that have occurred across the state recently, these flood waters will take days to recede and could remain elevated until late next week.

Division Fire Chief Cleotha Sanders says emergency personnel is prepared to assist where needed but says residents need to be proactive to avoid the need for rescue. He’s encouraging those who are evacuating to make emergency preparedness kits with enough supplies for up to two weeks.

Chief Sanders says “Go ahead and put together a kit. Water, cellphone, battery charger and things of that nature. Medicines, things for your pets. And make sure that if you are in an area where there is standing water, please do not walk through the water and please do not drive through the water.” He says the murky water could hide snakes, sharp objects or deceptively deep holes.

Emergency officials say residents in flood-prone areas should walk around taking clear photos and videos of their property to help expedite the filing of potential insurance claims.

City and county officials are also calling on hotels throughout the state to help accommodate those displaced by the flooding, and denounce any attempts to raise prices during the time of need.