JACKSON, Miss. — Historic flooding in Mississippi should begin to recede this week, but not before a flash flood warning could bring more rain for thousands of residents.
The Pearl River in Jackson crested on Monday at 36.67 feet — the third highest crest on record — leaving roads covered in water and hundreds of homes damaged.
The river’s highest level on record is 43.3 feet, set in April 1979. The next highest level was 39.6 feet, set in May 1983.
Rains forecast through Tuesday night have parts of central Mississippi under a flash flood watch, according to the National Weather Service.
One to 2 inches of rain could be possible in some areas worsening flooding and inundating structures already plagued by high waters. Higher levels of rain are likely in a short period of time in Jackson, Magee and Philadelphia, the NWS said.
Hundreds of homes have already sustained damage in the flooding, and officials expect that number to reach at least 1,000, Malary White, Director of External Affairs with the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency, told CNN.
Governor Tate Reeves declared a state of emergency over the weekend in three counties due to the flooding, which saw at least 16 search and rescue operations take place throughout the state.
“After days of rising floodwaters, we do have positive news to report,” Reeves said Monday.
Reeves later tweeted that he had received a call from President Donald Trump offering assistance to the state.
Roads in the area were reopened Monday following closures in anticipation of the crest, the Mississippi Department of Transportation said. But that shouldn’t stop people from exercising caution while driving given the rainy conditions.
“Although roadways are beginning to reopen in the Jackson area, motorists should continue to check traffic conditions prior to traveling,” Central Transportation Commissioner Willie Simmons said in a traffic update. “Please drive with extreme caution and remain on high alert for roadside crews out monitoring conditions across central Mississippi. Remember, never try to cross a flooded roadway or traffic barricade.”