Cleanup efforts begin as Pearl River begins to recede

Updated: Feb. 18, 2020 at 3:18 PM CST
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JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - Hinds County officials say people can expect flood water to begin moving away from homes and businesses.

John Sigman of Pearl River Valley Water Supply District said the Ross Barnett Reservoir is down to 297 feet, meaning it has enough storage to handle 2-3 more inches of rainfall.

With 1-2 inches of rain in the forecast for next week, officials are not concerned about any additional impact to the reservoir, which had to be opened to prevent a spill as the Pearl River rose this weekend. There is a flash flood watch in effect for Tuesday and Wednesday, but that is not related to Pearl River flooding.

The river reached a crest of 36.77 feet Monday. It’s began slowly receding since that crest.

“This is still a dangerous circumstance,” Jackson Mayor Chokwe Lumumba said. “Stay out of flood waters; it is unsafe.”

Lumumba said wildlife has been pushed out of their habitat, including snakes or other animals that may be in the water, or other animals trying to escape the flood.

Lumumba said people should not return to their homes yet until a clear notice is given.

The City of Jackson is working alongside Entergy to remove debris left by the flood water. The city plans to have curbside and rollout dumpsters available on Friday to help with cleanup.

Mississippi Emergency Management Agency shared some tips on how to get started with cleaning up your home.

  • Remove standing water from floors, carpets, and hard surfaces.
  • Remove/discard all soaked items such as furniture, rugs, bedding, and curtains that can’t be cleaned, dried, or already contain mold -- when in doubt, throw it out.
  • Use fans and dehumidifiers to remove moisture. If mold has started to grow, DO NOT use a fan, because it will spread the mold.
  • Clean walls, hard-surfaced floors, and other household surfaces with a mixture of soap and water then dry right away.
  • Disinfect all surfaces with a water and bleach solution (1 cup bleach to 5 gallons of water). [DO NOT mix chemicals]

Anyone in need of help can call 311. Lowe’s is handing out “recover buckets” for anyone in need as they return to their homes. These can be picked up at their locations in Jackson, Ridgeland and Flowood.

MEMA also has a disaster relief line at 800-445-6362. Mississippi Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster is looking for volunteers. You can sign up by calling 769-218-8675.

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