Mississippi Flood Update: Forecast, Map and What You Need to Know About Pearl River Cresting

The Pearl River is expected to crest Monday as it reaches its third-highest water level after a long period of rain that has brought flooding to the Jackson, Mississippi, area, forcing road closures, boil-water alerts and mandatory evacuation orders.

The water levels are expected to stop rising around 37.8 feet, according to the City of Jackson Twitter account, just short of the 38 foot-threshold that would threaten to damage more neighborhood areas.

⚠️UPDATE⚠️The Pearl River is expected to crest at 37.8ft on Monday. The mandatory evacuation is still in effect for impacted areas. Anyone w/ medical or mobility issues in need of assistance leaving can call 601.960.1234. If your home has lost power, check @EntergyMS for updates

— City of Jackson (@CityofJacksonMS) February 16, 2020

Jackson area residents have been evacuating the community since Friday. Mayor Chokwe Antar Lumumba stressed the importance of leaving the area by Saturday, before water levels reached their highest point. Along with the order to leave, the Mayor has continued to update Jackson residents on the emergency conditions via Instagram.

Governor Tate Reeves declared a state of emergency on Saturday. "I cannot stress to you how important the next 24 to 48 hours is for the people who are going to be affected," he said, according to USA Today. "Today's projections are showing the potential of this being the third-worst flood in our history, therefore, today, I did declare a state of emergency."

Jackson Pearl River Flood
The Pearl River is expected to crest just below 38 feet on Monday. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

Though evacuations were underway in some parts of Jackson, interactive flood maps show what could come next if the river continues to rise. Purple, dark grey and light gray sections of the map divide Jackson into parts that have already been flooded, as well as what's expected from floodwaters as the river reaches 38 feet.

Light grey areas on the display show intense flooding from 1979 that extends past the boundaries of what's expected from the Pearl River this week. In 1979, the river reached a high of 43.25 feet. You can view the interactive map here.

The National Weather Service called for more rain in the area Monday, with thunderstorms likely by midnight. As much as a quarter-inch is expected, with high temperature of about 69 degrees and a low of 62. Rainfall is expected through Thursday in the Jackson area, according to The Weather Channel.

Emergency crews have been trying to curve the river's rising waters since Saturday night, according to the Clarion Ledger. Water was released downstream to "keep up with the intake from Pearl River" according to a repost on Lumumba's Instagram on Saturday.

Residents were encouraged to pick up sandbags Friday and Saturday, which can be used to re-route incoming water.

In addition to the personal emergencies the flooding caused for some Mississippi families, some were concerned about the financial hit the Pearl River could bring the community of Jackson. "It's going to be financially crushing to a lot of people," resident Nate Green told USA Today. Another local, Pamela Hendrick, commented on the degree of intensity cast upon the community. "Everyone is just walking around with a dreadful look on their face."

The damage is likely to extend beyond the Pearl River area as rivers and creeks in other sections of the state are expected to swell and flood, as well.

The Pearl River County Sheriff's Department and Lumumba have not yet responded to Newsweek's request for comment on damages and recovery.