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Mississippi officials are urging residents around the Pearl River to evacuate

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Residents of areas near Mississippi’s Pearl River face flooding. Authorities are urging people to evacuate because it could cause more damage than it did in 2020, when it flooded more than 600 homes.

Jackson’s mayor, Chokwe Andar Lumumba, announced Sunday evening that flooding could hit the city. He called on residents to be prepared to evacuate and warned that they could be out of their homes for days or even two weeks. He promised to strengthen patrols to protect people’s property.

“Get ready as soon as possible. If you are one of the early hit communities in 2020, you will be hit early in 2022,” Lumumba quoted local WAPT as saying.

The river was over 10.5 meters near Jackson on Friday afternoon. Early projections indicated it would not exceed 10.2 meters, which is lower than the 11.1 meters recorded in 2020. However, the latest reports show that it will reach almost 11 meters by Monday morning.

Water Supply District Director John Sigman, director of the Pearl River Valley Water Supply District, said operators of the reservoir north of Jackson are gradually releasing water to prevent water from rising too high. They increased the water discharge from 1,557 liters per second on Friday to 1,699 on Saturday.

“We don’t want to deal with an uncontrollable situation. What we’re doing now is putting a little more water out than it’s flowing in,” Sigman explained.

The district administration admitted that the evacuation may increase again in the next 24 hours. Then water is likely to come to the houses.

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Andrzej Dobrowolski from New York

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