JACKSON, MISS– Louisiana and Mississippi have been declared to be in a state of emergency after historical flooding.
The National Weather Service has issued a flood warning for the areas around the Pearl River in Mississippi and Louisiana.
This flood warning is in effect for Hancock and Pearl River counties, as well as St. Tammany parish in Louisiana. The warning, unless cancelled, is in place until Friday morning. Sunday morning, the river was measured at 12.8 feet. Flood stage is at 14 feet.
“The river is expected to rise above flood stage by 2 pm this afternoon,” said a warning from the National Weather Service Sunday. “and then continue to rise until cresting at around 16.5 feet by tomorrow early afternoon. The river is expected to
fall below flood stage by late Thursday night.”
At 16.0 feet, lower portions of streets in River Gardens Subdivision will begin to flood. Secondary roads to the river and throughout Honey Island Swamp will remain inundated. Property in the vicinity of the gage is flooded threatening about 20 homes
along the left bank. The Bogue Chitto National Wildlife Refuge will be closed to hunting at the 15.5 foot stage.
While the chance of rain for southwestern Mississippi is still present, heavy, consistent downpours have moved out of the area, and the Mississippi Department of Transportation is working to repair and reopen damaged roads in Pike, Amite, and Wilkinson counties. For the latest on road conditions, click here.
According to MDOT, the Westbound lane of Highway 24 just east of Highway 48 is closed, along with the northbound lane of Highway 569 from Berwich Road to the Louisiana State Line, and Highway 575 between SR 48 and Osyka Progress road.
In Louisiana, at least three people are dead and 7,000 have been rescued after horrific, historical flooding has left roads shut down, homes and businesses lost, and thousands stranded. Hammond, Baton Rouge, Denham Springs, and Robert, Louisiana have the worst of the flooding as evacuation and rescue have been ongoing all week.
This video is from the Louisiana State Police and gives just a glimpse of the situation there.
Local media reported Louisiana Governor Jon Bel Edwards has declared a state of emergency due to flooded roadways, damaged and lost homes, and thousands stranded on the highways. Due to rising rivers, the flooding is expected to get worse before it gets better.
“This is an ongoing event. We’re still in response mode,” Edwards said, urging residents to heed warnings to evacuate and be prepared for a disaster that could last for several days. The Edwards family was forced to evacuate the governor’s mansion after chest-high water in the basement forced the electricity to be shut off.
Governor Phil Bryant visited Natchez Saturday ahead of his state of emergency declaration, for an assessment of need as many ha been forced into shelters. The town of Crosby had been evacuated. That declaration came Saturday afternoon.
Several swift water rescues were conducted in Pike County, mostly from people attempting to drive over flooded roadways, according to MEMA director Lee Smithson.
“It sounds cliche,” said Smithson. “But turn around, don’t drown. It only takes two inches of water to sweep a car off the road.”
News Mississippi will continue to update this story.