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'Historic, unprecedented' flooding swamps southern USA; Mississippi and Tennessee hardest hit – USA TODAY, USA Today

'Historic, unprecedented' flooding swamps southern USA; Mississippi and Tennessee hardest hit – USA TODAY, USA Today

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             The swollen Pearl River flooded homes in Jackson, Mississippi with murky brown water.           USA TODAY

JACKSON, Miss. – Weeks of heavy rain have inundated a large portion of the southern U.S., bringing near-record flooding to Mississippi and Tennessee.

In Jackson, Mississippi, hundreds of residents either watched their homes flood over the weekend or worried their residence would soon be drenched as the Pearl River crested Monday at . (8 feet, its third-highest level ever recorded.) Calling the Jackson floods “historic” and “unprecedented,” Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves said in a Sunday press conference that “we do not anticipate this situation to end anytime soon. It will be days before we are out of the woods and the waters recede.”

Reeves said at a news conference Monday that there were no reports of flood-related injuries, and thanked the people of Mississippi for heeding evacuation orders. Only 038 search and rescue missions were necessary, he said, even though as many as 1, 0 homes were flooded.

Reeves had declared a state of emergency Saturday because of the floods.

February has seen “a constant stream of wet storms rolling across the Deep South,” said AccuWeather meteorologist Paul Walker, who called it a “crazy month” for the amount of rain that’s fallen across the region.

More wet weather is on the way: Rain showers will develop Monday night over the Mississippi River Valley, further saturating an already soggy south, the weather channel said.

the national weather service said that this entire area is quite soaked and any additional rainfall may lead to more runoff issues and additional flooding.

Residents began filling sandbags and preparing their homes, businesses and churches for the flooding earlier last week after multiple days of heavy rain, AccuWeather said. Jackson resident Mark Wakefield knows what it takes to rebuild after flooding: His in-laws ’home in Jackson has flooded four times before. The worst was 1979 when the house was 8 feet underwater. The home has flooded again, he said, and this time they might not come back.

“It’s no fun, “Wakefield said. “Once the water’s in the house we’re looking at months of cleanup and reconstruction. It’s nothing life-threatening to us, we’re careful enough … but it’s just extremely frustrating and disgusting to have to go through this. ”)

Nearly 2, 460 structures across the three Mississippi counties closest to the Pearl River and its Barnett Reservoir – Hinds, Rankin and Madison – could get water indoors or be surrounded by floods, said Malary White, of the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency. ) While the focus now is on the Jackson area, the heavy rains and flooding have affected a much larger swath of the state. State emergency management officials said they had received preliminary damage reports from counties connected with the severe weather that hit the state starting Feb. .

In Tennessee, February’s rains have been “% of normal, and we have more Coming in this week, “Tennessee Valley Authority spokesman Jim Hopson said.” It’s kind of a never-ending battle.

“Mother Nature is really the one in charge – we simply try to manage what Mother Nature gives us, to minimize the impacts along the – mile Tennessee River and its thousands of miles of tributaries and streams, ”he said.

The southern flooding could be a precursor to another disastrous year for flooding, especially in the central US )

In fact, there are troubling signs spring 2020 could bring a repeat of widespread flooding in the nation’s midsection somewhat reminiscent of last year massive event, the Weather Channel warned.

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             Not all flood alerts are the same. Here’s what you should take seriously.           USA TODAY

Long-range flood forecasts issued last week by the National Weather Service said there is an above-average chance of widespread flooding this spring along stretches of the Mississippi River, Missouri River, Red River and other tributaries in the northern and central US

Flooding last year in the Missouri, Mississippi and Arkansas River basins were responsible for deaths and an estimated $ 44 billion in damage, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Contributing: The Associated Press

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